HARTFORD – Representative Whit Betts (R- Bristol) 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.
The job creation plans approved in a special legislative session also starts the process of streamlining the state’s meddlesome regulatory process, bolster manufacturing through enhanced high-tech training and pump at least $50 million into accelerated bridge and road repair programs.
“I spoke to a lot of businesses in the last year,’’ Betts said. “I think this bill is a great start in addressing some of the concerns that I have consistently heard from business owners. Cutting the business entity tax and investing in manufacturing and vo-tech schools are positive steps. But these are just steps; this isn’t going to fix things. We have to continue to ease regulations, ease the tax burden and foster a positive business environment- otherwise; this will be a wasted investment.”
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;
- Business entity tax cut by 50% to $125
- $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;