Date: February 16, 2017

(HARTFORD) February 16, 2017: In response to today’s Labor Committee hearing, the following statement may be attributed to National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Connecticut State Director, Andrew Markowski:

Today’s agenda is chalk full of bills that seem to be intent on impeding any economic progress for our small business community in Connecticut. Lawmakers would serve their constituents much better if they focused their energy on how to improve our business climate, instead of finding new ways to punish those that are working hard to keep people employed.

Our state’s fiscal crisis cannot be ignored any longer. Our budget deficit is overwhelming, and our pension system is grossly underfunded. It is baffling that legislators would even propose that the state-run yet another program when they can barely manage the ones that already exist. A state-run FMLA program is noble in concept however now is certainly not the time to be increasing mandates on the business community and the size and scope of government.

Small business owners that have been hit by the most recent mandatory hike in the minimum wage are adjusting to the increase in labor costs and doing everything they can to avoid layoffs or cost increases to their goods and services. Even bantering about a $15 an hour minimum wage acts as a deterrent to employers to hire additional people and scares off those that are considering opening a business in Connecticut. Our economic reality is that the small business community would be crushed by an increase of that magnitude and the very people that proponents of this measure claim to seek to protect would be unemployed if it were ever to become law.

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