State Rep. J.P. Sredzinski, R-112th, who represents Monroe, was a guest of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council at the group’s legislative breakfast Jan. 28.
Sredzinski spoke with council members from around the region and appeared on a panel with other elected officials to discuss the state’s relationship with the business community ahead of the coming legislative session. Council President and CEO Paul Timpanelli moderated the panel and brought the major concerns of the council members to the attention of the officials present. These included high business and hospital taxes and improvements to Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure.
In previous years, the council prepared its legislative agenda prior to the annual breakfast, but this year it chose to hear from the officials first and then develop its agenda after the event.
When asked to comment on the state’s business climate, Sredzinski mentioned one thing that he has heard from many in the business community.
“When I first got elected, I heard the same thing from several business owners,” Sredzinski said. “They all said to me, ‘Just leave us alone at the state level, and stop passing legislation that is going to hurt us further. Just let us run our companies, and stop trying to fix businesses. The best thing that the state can do is to stop interfering unnecessarily.’”
Several business leaders raised questions to the panel during a Q&A session at the end of the breakfast. Many said they felt the state has no clear path when it comes to a long-term fiscal plan and spoke about the impact that has on their businesses.
“The state, unfortunately, has a history of not taking the concerns of the business community seriously, as we can all see in the departure of General Electric,” Sredzinski said. “I am glad to see and hear from so many of our business leaders here today, and I can assure you that I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind this legislative session.”
The Bridgeport Regional Business Council is comprised of more than 800 businesses in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Shelton, Stratford, and Trumbull and is the largest business association in the Greater Bridgeport region.