Lawmakers Adjust Economic, Community Development Programs

Issues & Policies

The 2024 General Assembly session adopted a series of bills that made changes to various economic and community development programs.  

HB 5434, which drew unanimous support from both the House and Senate, makes a number of alterations to the Community Economic Development Fund, including: 

  • Adds “qualified census tracts” (i.e., any census tract federally certified as having at least 50% households with income below 60% of the area median gross income or a poverty rate of at least 25%) to the list of areas CEDF must assist
  • Creates a new board of directors to oversee CEDF, beginning Oct. 1, 2024
  • Allows CEDF to conduct business outside Connecticut with funds received on or after Oct. 1, 2024, if certain conditions are met 
  • Requires CEDF to report the ratio of business conducted in- to out-of-state in its annual report to the legislature’s Commerce Committee

HB 5300, which also passed both chambers without opposition, allows a business without principal operations in Connecticut to request eligibility for the Invest CT tax credit program from the Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner.

The commissioner may approve the request if he determines it would significantly advance the program’s objectives and will be required to submit a report to the committee.  

HB 5432, which drew strong bipartisan support in both chambers, establishes a working group to develop an economic and tourism plan for the greater Mystic area.

Tax Credits

Earlier in the session, the committee focused on creating beneficial tax credits and grants, including:

  • SB 157: Allows pass-through entities to claim the research and development tax credit, with the program capped at $5 million annually.  
  • SB 379: Increases the rate of the credit refund value for research and experimental expenditures or research and development expenses of biotechnology companies to 100%.
  • SB 430: Authorizes $4 million for  the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities for the purpose of establishing, in partnership with local manufacturers, an advanced manufacturing apprenticeship and community robotics center at Tunxis Community College. 

While met with bipartisan support, these proposals did not make it out of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee due to their fiscal impact, with the legislature not making changes to current two-year budget. 

CBIA will continue to advocate in support of these bills in future sessions. 

Workforce Development

CBIA strongly supported SB 250, which requires DECD to create a three-year Global Entrepreneur in Residence pilot program. 

Entrepreneurs will be employed part time by the university while developing skills and their business.  The program is open to international students and graduates who will also be required to apply for and pay for fees associated with the program. 

This bill was passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.  

Finally, CBIA supported SB 249, which allows the Office of Early Childhood to establish 20 incubator programs throughout the state and eliminates the sunset date on current centers.

The bill drew unanimous support and was merged into SB 14 as part of a larger discussion on education and early childhood development.     

Priorities for the next legislative session will likely include continued targeted tax relief and further expanding workforce pipeline programs.  

For more information, contact CBIA’s Ashley Zane (860.244.1169) | @AshleyZane9.


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