LABOR COMMITTEE HEARING PUTS SMALL BUSINESS IN AWKWARD PLACE

Date: March 03, 2016

LABOR COMMITTEE HEARING PUTS SMALL BUSINESS IN AWKWARD PLACE

HARTFORD (March 3, 2016):
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is gearing up for this
afternoon’s public hearing of the legislature’s Labor & Public Employees
Committee in New Haven where various policy discussions are poised to take
place. The state’s largest small business organization will be participating in
the hearing and anticipates this evening being a double edged sword for its
members who are craving regulatory reform and an overall reduction in the costs
associated with operating their places of business. 

“In terms of the current
proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the detrimental impact that
it would have on our economy is almost indescribable. The increase being
absorbed by the small business sector is an impossibility,” according to NFIB
Connecticut state director, Andrew Markowski. “Just when you think the
legislature is out of bad ideas, they manage to dust off minimum wage increase
proposals before they’ve even finished phasing in their last bright idea.”

Markowski is referring to the existing minimum wage increase recently enacted
that will result in a wage of $10.10 as of January 1, 2017. NFIB vocally
opposed the legislation that caused next year’s increase and they intend to do
the same with the $15 an hour proposal. Their research shows that an increase
of that magnitude will deter job creation and reduce any chance of
Connecticut’s struggling economy to improve.

At least the news isn’t all
bad for small business today. In addition to a $15 an hour minimum wage
proposal, unemployment insurance reform is set to be discussed at this
evening’s hearing. Reforming a system that is often taken advantage of and
always expensive to participate in is something NFIB is more than willing to
support.

“At a time when Connecticut
is under more scrutiny than it ever has been, lawmakers would be much better
suited to focus their efforts on making the state more hospitable for
businesses, and unemployment insurance reform is a great place to start,”
continued Markowski. “Reform will go a long way toward shoring up the financial
solvency of our state unemployment trust fund, which will benefit employers and
employees alike.  A healthy unemployment compensation system may wind up
lowering the cost for small business owners to operate and that will allow them
to hire more people.  But first lawmakers must understand that if they
pass an unbearable wage increase in addition to the unemployment insurance
reform, their actions will wind up being completely counter intuitive to
improving our economic outlook.”

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