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Conn. Politicians 'Disappointed' With GE Move

Chris Snyder

General Electric has announced that it’s moving its global headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston. GE’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said Boston has a diverse, tech-savvy workforce that fits with the company’s new direction.

Several states had been competing to lure GE from Fairfield since June, when the company announced that it might move because it was unhappy about tax proposals in the Connecticut legislature.

State Representative John Frey of Ridgefield, the Republican House Minority Whip, said he fought to keep GE in Connecticut, and he believes GE’s departure will be “cataclysmic.”

“They pay $100 million in payroll taxes to the state of Connecticut, which would indicate the amount of payroll they have here, their philanthropic giving is huge, they’re the largest taxpayer to the town of Fairfield,” he said.

GE currently employs 5700 people in Connecticut and 800 people at its global headquarters in Fairfield. The company says it plans to move 200 of those corporate jobs to Boston.

Speaking at Pegasus Manufacturing in Middletown, Conn. on Wednesday, Governor Dannel Malloy told the press that GE’s move is a loss.

“Of course I’m disappointed. I know many in Connecticut share the disappointment and frustration," he said. "Today’s decision is a clear signal that Connecticut must continue to adapt to a changing business climate.”

Malloy said he offered GE, quote, “a lot” of incentives to stay. He didn’t elaborate further.

Malloy did say that GE told him it plans to keep current contracts with Connecticut manufacturing suppliers, including Pegasus. Pegasus makes aircraft engine parts for GE.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.
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