Connecticut Lawmaker Says GE Threats Over Budget May Be Cover for Layoffs

HARTFORD, Conn. (The Hartford Courant/TNS) -

The Connecticut Senate’s top Democratic leader, Martin M. Looney, suggested Thursday that the harsh criticism of new business-tax increases by General Electric officials may be a cover for Connecticut layoffs that are already planned.

“I think they doth protest too much,” Looney said in response to questions about GE officials raising the possibility that the new business taxes in the budget approved Wednesday might force them to move their operations out of Connecticut.

Looney said he has heard that GE “may be using the (budget) bill as a cover” for previously planned layoffs. Company officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week, GE officials issued its budget-related warning in connection with a new “unitary tax” on corporations that have operations in multiple states. Several other major Connecticut corporations also protested against the unitary tax and other business-tax increases intended to raise an additional $700 million to help balance the state budget.