In a special one-day session, a bipartisan coalition in Connecticut has passed a $626-million package of economic development initiatives, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports.
The bill, which includes Republican ideas on cutting regulation and Democratic ones on worker training, has a monthly business tax credit of $500 for each job created in a two-year period beginning Jan. 1. Companies that hire an honorably discharged veteran, a person with a disability or a job-hunter now collecting unemployment benefits would receive a $900 monthly credit. A grant program offers eligible companies with no more than 50 employees a subsidy to cover a portion of the cost and training of a new employee for six months.
The package also includes is a pool of $20 million to clean up and sell contaminated state-owned industrial sites; a $125 million, five-year fund for startup companies; film and studio tax credits; hundreds of millions of dollars in manufacturing assistance and workforce development; a $50 million bridge-repair program; and a 50 percent cut in a business registration fee.
Fred V. Carstensen, director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, said the plan was a positive move toward pulling Connecticut out of its malaise. “It is only a part of what needs to be done, but it’s clearly a huge step and a genuinely bipartisan one,” he told the Telegram. “It’s probably the most important economic development package that Connecticut has seen in 15 years.”
Carstensen also lauded the approval of $291 million in state financing to allow an established genetics research institute, Jackson Laboratories, to move to Connecticut from Maine as part of a collaboration involving the state, the University of Connecticut and Yale University. The state estimated that the project could create more than 7,400 jobs over two decades and provide instant credibility to the bioscience initiative Malloy sees as a long-term economic development engine.
Last week, Connecticut’s economic development effort received a shot in the arm from NBC, which announced it is moving its sports division to Stamford and creating 450 jobs.