Senate passes bill to partner with UTC


Joseph Crisco
Joseph Crisco

HARTFORD — The Senate last week approved legislation, 34-2, that formalizes an agreement between the state and United Technologies Corporation under which the company will invest up to $500 million to upgrade and expand its aerospace research, development and manufacturing facilities in Connecticut over the next five years.

“This bill is a vital investment in Connecticut’s engineering and manufacturing future,” said state Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) in a press release. “United Technologies is more than just a developer of engines and machine parts — it is a developer of people. This is a great day for Connecticut’s aerospace industry.”

According to the release, the agreement will have a direct or indirect impact on more than 75,000 jobs in Connecticut. Under the agreement, UTC will construct a new Pratt & Whitney corporate headquarters, which it will keep in Connecticut for a minimum of 15 years; construct a new Pratt & Whitney worldwide engineering center of excellence in Connecticut; keep Sikorsky corporate headquarters in Connecticut for a minimum of five years; create a customer training center at UTC Aerospace Systems in Windsor Locks.

Construction on the projects is expected to begin this year and continue through 2018, the release stated.

In return, the state will allow exchange of approximately $20 million per year of UTC’s previously earned but unused tax credits to finance the construction, up to a maximum of $400 million. The exchanged credits will be offset with tax reductions over a 14-year period, with the final amount based on the company’s level of jobs, wages and investments, according to the release.

If UTC fails to meet any of its obligations under the agreement, the benefits to the company would be either significantly reduced or eliminated.

The legislation, House Bill 5465, passed the House of Representatives on April 17. The bill was sent to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk.