It featured speakers that included CBIA President Joe Brennan; Burke Doar, vice president Trumpf Inc. (note the "f" on the end), a German manufacturing company with a location in Farmington that employs 500 people; a panel of economists including CBIA's Pete Gioia and Donald Klepper-Smith of DataCore Partners; and a panel of print and broadcast reporters who cover the state Capitol.
To say the majority of the various discussions and presentations were depressing is to say the least. What's happening in Hartford -- like Thursday's news that income tax receipts are falling off a cliff (you can read about that here) -- gets uglier seemingly by the minute.
Speaking of Hartford, attempts to craft -- well, cobble together -- a state budget continue in earnest. Given the divisiveness and bickering in the General Assembly, they quite likely may not have a final budget in place by the end of the session on June 7, so expect a special session.
The GOP offered up its attempt at a budget (read about that here), but it was out of balance before it could be released thanks to the plummeting tax receipts. They will have to adjust that on the fly.
Meanwhile, the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee is actually considering tax relief (read about that here), but whether that is possible remains to be seen.
I submitted testimony yesterday on behalf of the Chamber urging the FRB Committee to reject any new taxes and to try to live within the state's shrinking means. I'll update this blog post with a link to that testimony once it is posted to the committee's website.
(Update: You can read my testimony here. DK)
And if you are still uncertain about how bad things are, consider these numbers provided at the CBIA event by Don Klepper-Smith: Connecticut was 44th out of the 50 states in job growth in 2016; it has recovered just 76.6% of the jobs it lost during the recession, which is "dead last" in New England, and, perhaps most frightening, 575 people per week -- 29,900 people per year -- are moving out of Connecticut.
Yeah, things are pretty bad.