HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) hailed the recent announcement by Democratic legislative leaders of their jobs and business agenda for the 2014 legislative session.
“As Connecticut continues its economic rebound, it is paramount that we build upon the successes of our recent landmark jobs legislation,” said Crisco in a press release. “We will replenish successful programs like STEP-Up, and offer other new initiatives that will cut red tape and encourage economic development. Complacency is unacceptable. This is a pro-growth agenda that affirms our commitment to making Connecticut a center for job creation, and that will help our communities expand their commercial bases.”
The agenda includes the following:
- Re-capitalize Connecticut’s STEP-Up program, which offers employers who hire an unemployed worker either a wage subsidy to help pay a new employee’s salary for the first six months, or provides a six-month training grant.
- Implement new school-to-job programs such as an accelerated certificate program combining basic education and technical and career training; an I-Best program for adult students lacking a GED which combines GED preparation with real-world skills training, and an Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program where students combine paid work and college level study towards the attainment of an associate’s degree.
- Continue entrepreneurial tax incentives such as the Angel Investor Tax Credit and the Insurance Reinvestment Tax Credit.
- Pre-permitting business development, renovation or new construction by pre-approving zoning and environmental reviews in order to save businesses time and money.
- Establish a procedure for transferring and selling Brownfield Redevelopment properties that begins with the state cleaning up selected brownfield sites and then marketing them to private developers. Presently, the state must identify a potential interest in a site before it begins remediation, according to the release. In addition, funding will be provided for state- and municipally-owned brownfield properties to conduct remediation studies to determine the potential hazards and costs associated with their cleanup and develop a plan for their remediation.
- Create a quasi-public agency to coordinate the development of the Bridgeport, New Haven and New London ports, seek federal and state funds for dredging and infrastructure improvements, market the ports to the domestic and international shipping industry, and develop strategic entrepreneurial activities.
- Establish “social benefit corporations,” a new type of corporation intended to use a portion of its profits to benefit society or the environment without fear of shareholder action.
- Protect businesses from “patent trolls,” law firms or individuals who neither make a product nor perform a service, but who allege they are enforcing a patent that they did not file and which they are now seeking usage fees for.
- Expand business enterprise zones to include incentives for businesses to locate on or near university campuses in order to take advantage of university resources and create jobs.