By Ann-Marie Mesquita, Staff Writer
General Electric, the biggest company on Connecticut’s grand list, is making plans to move out of the state because it “does not support job creation, where it’s attractive to talent.”
That’s why some Republican legislators are calling for a special session to revisit the budget after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced a series of cuts that will hit nonprofit hospitals hard, according to some business observers. So far, a $190 million cut to hospitals is slated for the 2015-2016 budget, which began July 1.
These cuts, some say, scare off big businesses.
The Connecticut General Assembly’s Senate and House Republican leaders in a press release on Thursday shared concerns about the state’s business environment and General Electric’s potential move.
Among the cuts slated for the fiscal year is a $63.4 million reduction in Medicaid payments to hospitals. This would also trigger a loss of $128 million in matching federal dollars, state officials said.
Connecticut Hospital Association CEO Jennifer Jackson said hospitals provide many programs in their communities, which will have to be cut.
Hospital leaders said the cuts would also force them to lay off workers.
“People are going to lose their jobs at a time when we dramatically need job growth in the state of Connecticut,” Jackson said, calling the cuts “a crisis situation.”
Sen. Tony Hwang the “crisis situation”also serves to scare away big businesses like GE.
“Our state is in a crisis. Our financial house is falling apart and the very foundation is crumbling as more and more businesses and residents leave for states with a stable and livable tax structure. This situation will only get worse if we do nothing. A crisis demands immediate attention,” Hwang said.
All Republicans voted against the state budget passed earlier this year saying cuts to hospitals, which are job creators, scares away other companies.
GE spends more than $14 billion with other businesses in Connecticut to support their operations. Republican leaders said that those relationships impact over 65,000 supplier jobs across the state.
“Seeing GE leave would not only spell trouble for GE employees, perhaps even more damaging to the thousands of individuals who have jobs because of the business GE provides to other companies within our state,”said . The majorities’ decisions are driving companies and jobs out.”
Lawmakers also emphasized the need for changes in the state budget to benefit all businesses as GE is only one of many companies considering leaving the state.
“A special session to rethink this budget is needed to send a strong message to businesses, to communities, to families, that lawmakers are listening and we want to help create a better future for our state,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby).
Photo courtesy of CTMIRROR.