Connecticut Desperate to Retain GE from Georgia Move

| November 17, 2015

Georgia Business

ATLANTA — The battle for General Electric’s headquarters has raged for months, as Connecticut lawmakers try to deter upstarts in Georgia and elsewhere from luring away their Fortune 500 company.

Economic development types have long encouraged a dose of skepticism in reporting about the attempt to snag the company and the hundreds of executive-level jobs that would come with it. This despite the fact that Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and others have made personal pitches.

But now comes word that lawmakers in Connecticut, where the firm has called its home for four decades, are also pessimistic about their chances.

From the Hartford Courant:

“I think they’re going to go,” said Sen. L. Scott Frantz, a Greenwich Republican and the ranking member on the legislature’s tax committee.

“I think it’s slim,” said Ridgefield Republican Rep. John Frey when asked to rate the chances that the company would keep its corporate headquarters in the state.

The Courant story also has the much-juicier comment (for our readers at least) from Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney of New Haven, who told the newspaper he’s doubtful that GE would move to Atlanta – or anywhere else in the region.

His comments are bruising:

“I think it would be difficult for them to find an equivalent quality of life anywhere than where they are now in Connecticut,” Looney said. “If they moved to the South, there are issues ranging from cultural amenities to quality of education to the whole range of options that lead to top-notch quality of life in Connecticut. If cost were the only factor in decisions, the whole world would be beating a path to Mississippi.”

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