TIMPANELLI TOPICS: February 2016 Legislative Agenda


Dear Members,

The 2016 Connecticut Legislature is now in session, and that prompts an important question for us.

What is it that the Business Community needs our elected representatives to focus on?

For most of us the answer is quite simple...

Make progress on improving Connecticut's hospitality to business and grow jobs!

Despite some last minute improvements to the budget and taxes, and despite some real victories in gaining needed resources for our urban centers, there continues to be a real sense that Connecticut is losing ground in terms of its economic competitiveness.

That being said, I do feel that positive change may be in the air.

It appears that decision­-makers in Hartford are starting to move the needle toward a pro-­jobs, pro-­economic growth attitude.

Clearly the business community, as represented by the major Chambers of Commerce in the state and CBIA, are more united that ever and committed to playing a more meaningful role in partnership with Legislators and the Governor's office to make changes. 

Witness the Governor's budget address last week in which he proposed some long ­over-due and major changes to the way the state conducts its business and witness the press conference that the state's business leaders conducted last week.

I was honored to emcee that program. And, as a united voice of business in Connecticut, we expressed our resolve to engage and participate with our leadership meaningfully to make this state a more hospitable place for business and for residents.

On Monday, the Bridgeport Regional Business Council Board of Directors unanimously approved two Resolutions that we will now send to the Governor and Legislative Leaders which will express our support for two important constitutional amendment questions.

We are hopeful that these amendments will appear on the ballot this November. 

The first, if enacted, will guarantee that all monies raised to support the Governor's ambitious $100 billion 30-­year transportation investment plan will be placed in a "lock-­box" guaranteeing their use for nothing but transportation infrastructure. 

The second amendment, if approved, will strengthen the state's budget cap and guarantee that we don't spend more than we have.

These are monumental changes and many of us sense a renewed willingness to not only tackle these questions, but to move forward with approval.

Yes, there is much to be done. And, on behalf of our member businesses, the BRBC will be actively engaged to drive momentum for change. We are on the road to a better Connecticut, a road that is good for business growth. 

The BRBC will pursue this road with vigor and renewed energy. It is what we do...unify the business community and our legislators to create a better business environment. 

Our organization recently hosted over 140 business people and a significant number of Legislators and Chief Elected Officials at our organization's 2016 Legislative/CEO Breakfast at Housatonic Community College. 

This was one of the largest audiences for this event ever.  And, yes, I sense an emerging consensus that attitudes are changing in Connecticut.

This emerging "new direction" makes the case that the advocacy work we and other organizations like ours engage in on behalf of the business community does make a difference. 

It is never too late to effect change.

You will find in this month's "Topics" a link to the BRBC's 2016 Legislative Agenda.

The Bridgeport Regional Business Council's 2016 Legislative Agenda

I want to thank the BRBC's Government Relations and Transportation Committee with Co­Chairs, Tim Hodges of People's United Bank and Gregg Dancho of Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo for their work in crafting the 2016 Legislative Agenda.

This very active and dedicated Committee proposed we draft our Agenda this year with much more input from our members. We did just that through a member survey and more input from our Legislators.

I'm confident you will be pleased with our direction and I welcome further comment. Please feel free to connect with me via email at

Paul S. Timpanelli
President and CEO
Bridgeport Regional Business Council