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CT Gov Signs Jobs Bill, FY11 Budget Agreement

May 12, 2010

A jobs bill that garnered near unanimous support in both legislative chambers was signed into law by Gov. Jodi Rell last week. The bill includes pre-seed funding for innovative ideas, a program authorizing tax credits for insurers investing in many different types of businesses, including technology startups, student loan reimbursements to retain green collar workers, a small business loan pool, and a green manufacturing pilot program.

The enacted jobs bill includes several components introduced by Gov. Rell earlier this year as part of an economic recovery package (See the Feb. 10, 2010 issue of the Digest). Specifically, the new legislation:

  • Authorizes $5 million in bonds for Connecticut Innovations, Inc. to provide capital and support services to businesses developing new concepts;
  • Authorizes personal income tax credits for angel investors who invest at least $100,000 in Connecticut start-up businesses in specified sectors. The credit equals 25 percent of the cash investment, up to $250,000;
  • Expands the focus of Connecticut's Insurance Reinvestment Tax Credit Program so investors may receive credits for a broader array of investments. Qualifying funds must invest in small, Connecticut-based companies, with a minimum of 25 percent of investments going to green technology companies;
  • Provides student loan reimbursements to eligible students who obtain a degree in green technology, life science, or health information technology fields and work in the state for at least two years. The cap is $10,000 for residents holding a bachelor degree and $5,000 for those holding an associate degree;
  • Establishes a revolving loan program for small businesses and nonprofit organizations by using up to $15 million in bonds authorized for Manufacturing Assistance Act projects. Up to $500,000 is available for loans and lines of credit to businesses and nonprofit organizations employing fewer than 50 people.
  • Authorizes $500,000 in bonds for a pilot program to help manufacturers convert their facilities into green operations or implement energy efficiency measures by using lean manufacturing strategies; and,
  • Establishes a 21-member council to promote the state's industry clusters.

 

Gov. Rell also signed into law a budget agreement for FY11, which makes adjustments to the second year of the biennium. Lawmakers passed the 2009-11 biennial budget last September, which became law without Gov. Rell's signature (see the September 16, 2009 issue of the Digest). In December, the governor ordered a special session to address a projected $466.5 million budget gap in the current year.

Following are FY11 appropriations for technology-based economic development (TBED) programs within the Department of Economic and Community Development:

  • $760,000 for CONNSTEP, which provides consulting and training solutions for Connecticut's manufacturing industry;
  • $500,000 for the Small Business Incubator program;
  • $300,000 for Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) Manufacturing Supply Chain, which provides services to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers remain competitive; and,
  • $225,625 for Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Economy.

 

No FY11 funding is included for Entrepreneurial Centers or CCAT Energy Application Research. Within the Office of Workforce, $140,000 is appropriated for the Nanotechnology Study and no FY11 funding is included for SBIR matching grants.

A proposal to merge Connecticut Innovations (CI) and the Connecticut Development Authority into a newly formed quasi-public authority failed in the legislature. Connecticut Innovations raised concerns that the new authority's mission likely would be less focused on the technology economy and venture investing than CI's current mission.

SB 494, An Act Making Adjustments to the State Expenditures for FY11, is available at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2010/TOB/s/pdf/2010SB-00494-R00-SB.pdf

Connecticutstate revenue