Paul Pescatello, president and CEO of CT United for Research Excellence (CURE) described US Sen.-elect Chris Murphy this way: “He listens and he thinks,” referring to Murphy’s support of stem cell research initiatives.
And that was Pescatelllo’s segue to introduce Murphy to the audience at the Chamber of Commerce Eastern Connecticut business breakfast Tuesday morning in Norwich. And fitting anecdotally since Murphy would point to science and technology as areas the state must invest in in order to remain competitive and entice business to the state.
Agreeing with the policy, he said, of Gov. Dannel Malloy, the state must continue to employ a “laser-like focus” on developing science and technology as it invests as well on education and transportation, both issues eastern Connecticut is at once known for, he said, and finds itself addressing.
“There’s an incredible spine of education in eastern Connecticut,” Murphy said. He also pointed to transportation initiatives including high-speed rail, freight rail and commuter rail as being both “genius” and “something we must make a major investment in.”
Defense spending and taxes
”I believe we’ll be able to protect a commitment to build two subs at EB,” Murphy said, adding “and we’re well on our way to continuing to win major contacts for engines and helicopters.” But he said, “it makes me red in the face (when he sees) foreign defense contractors getting American defense contracts.” He vowed to continue to work to ensure American defense manufacturers “get those contracts.”
Murphy said he was committed to “protect Connecticut’s defense (industry) and all the supply chain that follows; hundreds of Connecticut companies.”
On taxes, he opined that the tax code is “so complex that it basically puts the burden of paying business taxes on small and medium business” that don’t have the “accounting offices” to avoid paying taxes.
Murphy said the state’s “generally lacking in coherent economic development,” but applauded Malloy in “turning the corner” on economic development initiatives, especially biotech.
“Cost is a primary barrier to business coming here,” he said. “We’ve got to get serious about that.”