Remove roadblocks so people can pursue their dreams.
Streamline occupational licensing. Especially for professions that have excessive requirements in Connecticut like opticians, pharmacy technicians, forest workers, upholsterers, home entertainment installers, crane operators, and commercial glaziers. Did you know that one in three occupations in the U.S. now require a state-issued license? Connecticut even requires licensing for occupations that other states don’t license. For a detailed overview, check out how people in Connecticut are “Waiting to Work.”
Reduce barriers for independent contractors (“solopreneurs”). Enterprising and creative people should be allowed to work without threat from the state Department of Labor. Where do we begin with this one? There are many barriers for successful solopreneurs in Connecticut, but one in particular is deeply concerning. The state seems to be in audit overdrive when it comes to investigating independent contractors. Be sure to watch our “Blow the Whistle” video.
Reform requirements for professional licensing. Some professions should be licensed to protect health and safety (doctors, truck drivers, etc.), but those licenses shouldn’t be a hassle to obtain. Our goal is to make rules and regulations for obtaining professional licenses more straightforward and less cumbersome – and fairer. In its current state, the process is often as confusing and scary as getting lost in a corn maze.
Extend the “opportunity wage,” entry-level pay below the state minimum wage for employees under 21. Connecticut citizens need jobs, not another government mandate in the form of a minimum wage increase that went into effect this January. We support entry-level pay for employees under 21 because it allows young people the opportunity to work and learn new skills.
More opportunities for people to support their families.
Embrace the sharing economy and technological innovation. Encourage non-traditional businesses to compete in the Connecticut economy. Investopedia defines a sharing economy as “an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.” Think Uber and Airbnb.
Reduce wait times for permits. This is especially important at the Department of Consumer Protection and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Cap wait times and eliminate fines for businesses waiting for permits. Businesses shouldn’t have to wait to grow.
Increase access to technical education in high school and in the state’s community colleges. Form partnerships with nonprofits and employers to create programs. Encourage private-sector investment in technical education.
Get more jobs from those already creating jobs.
Increase the pace of hiring by reforming unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation. Hiring is always a big commitment. In Connecticut, we make it even more serious. It’s like requiring everyone to bring an engagement ring on the first date! A reform proposed last year could save more than $200 million.
Reform the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Reduce wait times by half and cut the backload of cases. This state agency, which handles housing and employment discrimination complaints, oversaw $10.2 million in settlements last year as discrimination complaints increased. Some cases have been ongoing for more than two years.
Eliminate punitive fines (OSHA, DEEP) for the first violation. Offer businesses the opportunity to comply before being penalized. The goal of regulation is to ensure health and safety, not to collect fines.
Exempt the first $10,000 of personal property from property tax for all businesses. New businesses pay higher taxes, partly because of property taxes. Let’s make it easier for businesses to get started so they can grow faster and start hiring.
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