Courtesy of CCM
Budgeting that encourages economic innovation, expanding the role of regional councils of governments and alliances, more regional transportation and tax reforms are just a few of the recommendations being proposed by a self-proclaimed economic summit team.

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), and the Connecticut AFL-CIO put together a working group of 150 policy and business leaders to brainstorm “better pathways to a strong economic future for Connecticut.”

The group, named Project B.E.S.T. (Bringing Every Stakeholder Together),  focused on three issues: fiscal and regulatory environment; effective and efficient services; and, workforce development.

The fiscal and regulatory group said its top priority for the state was “implementing goal-oriented budgeting to improve economic growth and innovation.”

To accomplish that, the group said the state should strive to achieve: inclusive job growth; keep the workforce in Connecticut; create a uniform business plan for both large and small business to include regulatory reform; address the education achievement gap; consistent and predictable budgeting; transparency and clear direction; housing affordability and diversity; and that cities should be drivers and anchors.

The effective and efficient services working group came up with three top priorities: using council of governments and regional education service centers as engines of change for regional opportunities; major tax reform – to “reduce the problem of residents and businesses leaving Connecticut”; and incentives to encourage regional alliances.

The workforce development group also identified three top priorities: establishing smart growth principles that strengthen transportation assets to improve efficiency/effectiveness; develop a community and marketing strategy to reach and engage stakeholders such as employers, school districts, teacher, parents, students, guidance counselors, and higher education; and, expand “young people’s” view of what is productivity and success.

The group is hoping to help shape legislation in some cases and at the very least get a conversation going to make some of these proposals possible.

The summit in November 2016 was the second time these three groups have gotten together to brainstorm ideas for improving Connecticut. The first time was back in November 2015.