Hartford Business Journal

December 19, 2016

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G R E AT E R H A R T F O R D ' S B U S I N E S S N E W S w w w. H a r t f o rd B u s i n e s s . c o m For more B2B news visit DECEMBER 19, 2016 Volume 25, Number 3 $3.00 Subscribe online Coming: December 26, 2016 Hartford area decision makers' most trusted and widely-used resource guide. Lists • Economic Forecast • 5 to Watch Index ■ Executive Profile: PG. 5 ■ Week in Review: PG. 6 ■ Deal Watch: PG. 10 ■ Nonprofit Notebook: PG. 18 ■ Movers & Shakers: PG. 18 ■ The List: PG. 19 ■ Opinion & Commentary: PG. 20 Flush Lenders Connecticut banks are on pace for their most profitable and biggest lending year since at least the Great Recession, but higher interest rates are creating some uncertainty about 2017. PG. 3 Warning Shot Webster Bank CEO Jim Smith told Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other state lawmakers that adoption of an enforceable spending cap is the only way to boost business confidence in the state. PG. 8 By Matt Pilon mpilon@HartfordBusiness.com H eaded into a two-year budget cycle in which the legislature faces projected annual deficits approaching $1.5 billion, businesses are probably wondering whether to expect major tax hikes akin to those enact- ed in 2011 and 2015. Recent messaging from Gov. Dannel P. Mal- loy and his fellow Democratic leaders, who head into the 2017 legislative session with the slimmest political margin since the 1980s, has sought to assuage concerns. But no leading lawmakers have ruled out new taxes entirely. "I would say tax increases are not my first choice," newly appointed House Speaker Joseph Aresimowicz (D-Berlin), said this month. But Aresimowicz, who inherited the House's top position from the retiring Brendan Sharkey, said the state's fiscal challenge is large. "I don't like to take things off the table," Aresimowicz said, adding that he expects balancing the budget to get much of lawmak- ers' attention in the coming session, which starts Jan. 4. Malloy, who is expected to unveil his budget proposal in February, recently called the state's fiscal challenge "gigantic," cre- ated in part by employee-pension promises made by past administrations. Seeking Solutions Fiscal shortfall likely to dominate legislative session; businesses fear tax hikes Continued on page 16 P H O T O | B I L L M O R G A N M E D I A L L C Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has indicated there will be significant cuts needed to balance the budget, but he hasn't ruled out new revenue entirely. ▶ ▶ ' There's no doubt there will be cuts and consolidations in this budget, there have to be.' Gov. Dannel P. Malloy As we wrap up the year, Hartford Business Journal is taking a look back at its 2016 "5 to Watch" picks and the many deci- sions and moves they've made to influence their respective organizations. PG. 12. We Watched in 2016 Recap: 5

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