Herbst, state reps respond to General Electric departure
First Selectman Timothy M. Herbst issued a statement Thursday morning in regards to the departure of General Electric from Fairfield to Boston.
"Today's news is extremely disappointing, most especially for communities like Fairfield and Trumbull," said Herbst. "Hundreds of good people who have made our communities their home and contributed to our communities in so many ways, will now bring those contributions to Boston."
Trumbull's top official said that GE's decision to leave the state is "proof positive that under Governor Malloy, Connecticut's anti-business environment picks winners and losers when it comes to our economy."
He called the governor's policies "destructive" and criticized them for deciding which businesses will succeed and which businesses will fail.
"Their collective focus should be removing barriers to promote economic growth and opportunity for everyone," Herbst added.
He feared that these regressive policies will cause Connecticut to miss out.
"If the current trend continues, Connecticut is going to continue to miss out on the opportunity of innovators who are creating the new American economy," the first selectman said.
Herbst bemoaned the governor for his decision to travel the country, rather than focus on solving Connecticut's problems.
"With our state in such financial turmoil, the last thing we need is a Governor that is traveling all over the country raising campaign cash and rubbing elbows with the President and the First Lady," Herbst said. "We need our Governor focused on fixing Connecticut's problems. The solution will require bipartisan consensus. Governor Malloy needs to stop thinking about the next election and start thinking about the next generation."
Fairfield delegation reacts
With the news General Electric is leaving Fairfield and the state Connecticut for Massachusetts, State Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28), and State Reps. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) and Laura Devlin (R-134) expressed extreme disappointment but said the move is entirely due to Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the Democratic leaders in the General Assembly, who continually pass job-killing tax schemes without regard to consequence.
“I know our community is strong, “said Senator Hwang (R-Fairfield). “I know we will all work hard with one another to build back what we are losing. I know we will come together to support the employees losing their jobs, the local companies that will lose business, and the many nonprofits and community organizations that benefited from having GE’s headquarters as a major philanthropic force in our town.
"GE is an incredible economic driver, and the jobs that do remain here will continue to benefit our community and support many families," he added. "I plan to work closely with all lawmakers as well as state and local leaders to ensure Connecticut is taking the steps we need to grow jobs, support the community, and create an environment where businesses want to move in, not out.”
He wasn't the only politician left frustrated by the announcement.
“This news is heartbreaking for Fairfield. GE is an important part of our community," said Rep. Kupchick. "The governor and majority leaders assured residents and businesses the 1.8 billion dollar tax increase in 2011 was going to fix Connecticut's fiscal problems.
"We were told we all had to share in the sacrifice," she added. Then the majority and governor passed the states second largest tax increase of 1.5 billion in 2013, again saying that would fix the deficit and they came up short again in 2015."
Rep. Kupchick claimed in the release that businesses like GE see exactly what residents across the state have bared witnessed to under Gov. Malloy's administration: a state government that can't manage its budgets and continue to come looking for more tax money to fix their poor financial decisions.
"For anyone to say GE is leaving because of anything other than years of punitive business polices and poor fiscal management by one party rule is kidding themselves," she said. "Bottom line, they blew it."
What General Electric departure means going forward
Rep. Devlin called the news devastating to Fairfield and the surrounding communities.
"GE means so much to our community and is a direct hit to our state’s economy," she said. "Leaders at the State Capitol refused to listen to GE and other companies who have repeatedly said Connecticut is doing more harm than good in keeping businesses in state.”
“All GE was asking for was a predictable, sustainable business policy for the state, but unfortunately legislative Democrats ignored that reasonable request and in turn berated GE after the state budget vote in June,” she added.
General Electric employs about 5,700 Connecticut residents including 800 at its Fairfield headquarters, and throw in the 65,000 people who are employed with other CT companies that will be affected.
GE is also Fairfield’s largest municipal taxpayer.