Rep. Larry Miller (R-122) today praised the passage of a significant package of reforms aimed at spurring Connecticut’s lagging employment figures, which have held steady for two years at roughly 9%, and the sluggish state economy. The bi-partisan measures were adopted today by overwhelming votes of both the state House and Senate during a special session of the General Assembly.
Since the adjournment of the regular session in June, Miller has met with and visited numerous businesses in the Stratford and Shelton area to get a clear picture of how Connecticut’s business environment was impacting the day-to-day operations of local companies.
“Unfortunately Connecticut has done a lot in the past to make it very difficult to do business with the state,” said Representative Larry Miller. “While this package does not address all of them, it is an excellent start in reversing a trend that has put Connecticut nearly last in line among all states to recover from this global recession.”
House Republicans met with more than 50 small business owners earlier this month who shared the needs and concerns. Those ideas were incorporated into the bill passed today:
- $60 million for training programs and tax credits;
- $10 million revolving loan fund for business at risk of closing;
- $500 monthly tax credit for new hires, $900 credit for all unemployed, disabled and veteran hiring;
- Cut in half to $125 the annual Business Entity tax.
- $40 million to establish and expand manufacturing technology training at six schools in the community college and vocational technical systems.
The bill also authorizes $340 million in Manufacturing Assistance Act (MAA) funds over the next two years.
Business owners blasted the state’s regulatory and permitting and Republicans responded:
- Brownfield reclamation will be enhanced through a $20 million fund used to clean up properties and sell them privately;
- State Traffic Commission proposals not acted upon with 60 days will be deemed approved;
- An enhanced and improved informational technology portal will make it faster and easier for developers and businesses to work through the state bureaucracy;
In separate legislation Miller opposed the state’s $291 million grants and loans to Jackson Laboratories for the construction of a genetic testing and research center in Farmington because of the massive risk Connecticut would assume and the refusal by the Malloy administration to compromise on the deal.
High ranking Jackson officials said they were willing to compromise on the terms of ownership of the building at the UConn Medical Center and changes in job creation timelines but Gov. Malloy was not.
Miller noted that the measure would spend nearly $1 million for every job it created, which was too great a price tag for the return.