State labeled 'anti-business' at forum
HARTFORD -- You can't say that minority House Republicans packed a small business forum Wednesday with their political supporters.
"I'm leaving Connecticut because I'm frustrated," Cavalieri told House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero during a morning-long hearing in the Legislative Office Building. "But you're doing a great job," Cavalieri added sarcastically.
About 50 small business owners from throughout the state attended the forum, for which Cavalieri, the first speaker, set the tone.
He called for the termination of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which he said hinders business. "Get rid of DEEP," he said. "They just tie up our hands. They're out of control."
He said that state laws aimed at assisting business have accomplished the opposite.
"If you guys really want to help, stop helping," said Cavalieri, reciting a litany of taxes, surcharges and regulations dating back more than 20 years that have made it harder to do business in the state. "I think you should take Democrats and Republicans and burn them. We speak and nobody listens."
Cafero said he and other Republican lawmakers heard what Cavalieri said. Cafero scheduled the hearing in advance of the upcoming special legislative session on jobs set for Oct. 26.
"We have heard from academicians and economists and God knows, politicians, so today, in some small way, this is your turn," Cafero said.
"It's no secret that Connecticut and the world is facing some tough economic times right now.," Cafero said. "In Connecticut we have unemployment that's over 9 percent; over 100,000 people have lost their jobs; thousands of businesses have closed their doors."
Cafero said rather than create jobs, lawmakers can really only provide an atmosphere for the private sector to work, grow and expand employment opportunities in the state.
"With all the rancor and disagreement and argument that goes on in politics and in this building, we are very hopeful that we can put that aside and get together with our good friends on the other side of the aisle and the governor's office, as we have been doing for the last three weeks and meet and talk and discuss what is it that we can do to create jobs and a better business climate in the state of Connecticut," Cafero said.