HARTFORD — State Rep. Richard Smith testified today before the Government Administration and Elections Committee in support of his proposal to increase advertising on state Web sites. Proposed H.B. 5236, An Act Permitting the State to Sell Advertising Space, seeks to open the door to advertising space on each agency’s Web site or other state property in order to produce more revenue and address the state’s $3.5 billion budget deficit.
Smith said the bill carries potential to generate revenue for the state without increasing taxes.
“It’s an ‘outside-the-box’ approach to help get our state back in the black,” said Smith, a member of the legislature’s Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee. “We live in a Web-driven world, and there’s no reason our state shouldn’t do everything it can to monetize its on-line assets.”
While it is difficult to predict the potential revenue from selling advertising space, this practice isn’t unprecedented in Connecticut and other states across the country, Smith said.
Smith also contends the proposal would be a small step toward turning around Connecticut’s reputation of being a state that’s unfriendly to businesses.
“Potentially, we’d have local businesses advertising on these Web sites used almost exclusively by local consumers,” said Smith, a freshman legislator from New Fairfield. “We’d be encouraging growth of Connecticut-owned-and-operated companies with every click of a mouse.”