House Chair of the Commerce Committee Rep. Jeff Berger (D-Waterbury) hailed passage of a comprehensive jobs bill #6801 that will boost Connecticut’s ability to grow and retain jobs. In addition, the legislature approved the state’s commitment to Jackson Laboratory – an investment that unlocks the potential of thousands of jobs in the field of genomic medicine and the biosciences. Both measures were approved during the October 26th special session of the General Assembly.
“This bill will go a long way toward having a positive impact on jobs across the state,” Rep. Berger said. “Components of the bill include reducing taxes to help stimulate the economy as well as creating educational opportunities to prepare our workforce for tomorrow’s demands.”
The goal of the legislation is to jump-start job creation and foster long-term economic growth. Incentives for small business, cutting red tape, incentives for innovation, economic development tools and workforce development and training are all addressed in the bill.
One of the key components of the legislation is the Small Business Express Package which will make $50 million/year available to small businesses through incentives, grants and loans.
Another vital component is aligning programs at vo-tech schools, community colleges and universities with high demand job needs of employers, including the state’s manufacturing technology companies.
Other components of the jobs bill include:
• Consolidating and increasing the tax credit for new hires
• Incentivizing investments in emerging technology (Angel Investors)
• Building innovation centers in key cities and investing in innovative ventures
• A second “First Five” program
• Cutting the business entity tax
• Streamlining the business permitting process
• Remediating old industrial sites/brownfields
• Computer upgrades to foster seamless communication between business and the state
• Workforce development, education and training
• Allowing the Airport Authority to designate new Development Zones
• Investments in roads and bridges
• Replenishing the Manufacturing Assistance Act (MAA)
• Main Street commercial centers improvement initiative
In addition, the legislature signed off on Jackson Laboratory’s plan to build a $1.1 billion research facility at the UConn Health Center campus in Farmington. The State of Connecticut will invest $291 million and Jackson Laboratory will raise the balance of $860 million for the project.
According to the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the project is expected to create over 660 positions at Jackson Laboratory in Farmington within 20 years. DECD estimates more than 4,600 bioscience jobs would be generated through spin-off companies, and another 2,000 would be added to local service and area retail stores. The project would yield more than 840 construction jobs as well.