Commerce Committee Advances Manufacturing Agenda
The General Assembly’s Commerce Committee approved several measures March 16 designed to grow manufacturing in Connecticut.
Key among these is HB 7064, which expands the existing apprenticeship tax credit program to smaller manufacturers, pass-through entities such as LLCs and S-Corps, and those who pay business taxes through their personal income taxes.
Other measures approved by the committee that will help manufacturers by improving the regulatory climate include SB 818 and HB 7063.
SB 818 forgives certain, unintentional, first-time regulatory violations that are corrected in a timely manner.
HB 7063 requires the state, when adopting any new or revised regulations, to include a plain language description and summary of those changes along with compliance requirements and who would be impacted.
CBIA supports SB 818 and HB 7063, and is working with committee members to ensure one more important bill is approved.
Manufacturing Teachers’ Pool
SB 963 increases the qualified pool of manufacturing teachers for the state’s technical high schools by decreasing the amount of required industry experience.
It reduces the industry experience requirement from eight to five years.
The legislation is designed to encourage more manufacturers to enter teaching at a time in their careers when a teaching salary would be similar to a manufacturing wage.
The change will likely increase the pool of potential candidates because they will find the switch to a teacher career more in line with their current salary, CBIA Senior Counsel Eric Brown said.
Seeing more manufacturing teachers at the state’s technical high schools and in the community-technical college system is important for Connecticut’s manufacturers as they struggle to fill the skills gap created by retiring baby boomers and the increased demand for manufacturing workers.
Key among these bills is HB 7064, which expands the apprenticeship tax credit program to smaller manufacturers.
The bill also addresses a requirement that technical high school teachers complete continuing education requirements within a set time period.
The time period won’t change, but the venue where the courses are offered will.
Currently, the courses are only offered at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, making it difficult for people who don’t live nearby.
A section of SB 963 calls for expanding course offerings at Central to evening and weekends, and offering them online and at other state universities and colleges.
Waste Generator Rules
SB 963 also requires the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to “adopt regulations fully consistent with the [2016 federal] Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule.”
- Reorganizes federal rules so they are easier to understand
- Clarifies hazardous waste determination rules
- Eliminates the current rule for smaller generators, where just one episode of generating a larger than normal amount of hazardous waste would “bump up” the facility to “large quantity” generator status, significantly increasing their regulatory burdens
- Provides flexibility to small-quantity generators to ship their waste to a large-quantity generator under the control of the same company. This change may reduce operating costs to the company, reduce environmental liability, increase recycling, and reduce the amount of VSQG hazardous waste being sent to municipal solid waste landfills.
- Offers a waiver from the existing 50-foot buffer zone when site does not allow for it
- Clarifies that generators may use outside contractors for spill response.
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