Connecticut approves bipartisan jobs plan

http://stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=609979

ECONOMY & BUSINESS BEAT
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011
By John Gramlich, Stateline Staff Writer

In a special legislative session that ended last week, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy achieved what President Obama so far has not: winning bipartisan approval of an ambitious jobs plan.

Malloy, a Democrat, won unanimous support from his own party — and nearly unanimous support from Republicans — as the legislature agreed to borrow $626 million over two years in a sweeping effort to create private-sector jobs. The legislation, which will cost $1.1 billion after interest payments are included, drew just a single opposing vote in each legislative chamber.

“How often do you see this happening in Washington?” Malloy said in a statement on Thursday (October 28) when he signed the bill, which reached his desk after weeks of discussions between state officials and private-sector executives and employees. “Putting people back to work and making Connecticut more business-friendly aren’t goals owned by any one party.”

The legislation found support on both sides of the aisle because of the broad scope of policy proposals it includes. Among a host of other changes, the new law loosens business regulations, expands job-training efforts, creates new tax credits for small businesses, and provides money for public-works projects.

More than half of the plan, or $340 million, is devoted to expanding Malloy’s “First Five” program, which initially was aimed at providing tax incentives to the first five companies to create 200 jobs in Connecticut, but now will be expanded to allow up to 10 companies to participate, The Connecticut Post reports.

Connecticut lawmakers also may have acted in unison because of the state’s poor track record on job creation. The state has seen zero net job growth over two decades, The Post notes.

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— Contact John Gramlich at jgramlich@stateline.org

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