Creating a climate for jobs in Connecticut means:
Connecticut businesses need to hire again, expand, and increase their investments in the state.Creating a climate in which the private sector can drive our economy is the key to restoring business confidence, generating more jobs and solving the state’s fiscal challenges.
Building on our strengths.
Connecticut has a solid economic base with world-renowned companies in such industries as high-tech manufacturing, insurance and financial services, and biosciences and pharmaceuticals. Ours is a heritage of technology and innovation. And our workforce is highly prized throughout the nation.
Taking advantage of an opportunity.The Jobs Special Session is a great opportunity for lawmakers to create confidence and a more positive and productive partnership with the business community.
While there is a role for state-funded programs to help stimulate job creation, Connecticut’s future ultimately depends on the ability of our private sector to compete nationally and globally.
Our jobs focus can’t end with the special session. It’s time for everyone in Connecticut to keep pulling together to make our state the job creation leader it can be.
Here are our suggestions:
Improve State Tax and Fiscal Policy
State government can win back business confidence by becoming more efficient, maximizing tax dollars, and strategically leveraging tax policy to help our economy grow.
Optimize the Use of Tax Credits
Research and innovation grow jobs, and Connecticut is a leader in both. But Connecticut’s R&D, research and experimentation and fixed-capital tax credits are limited by a 70% cap.
- Eliminate the 70% cap of R&D and fixed-capital tax credits, or at a minimum, outline a gradual rollback timeline for eliminating the tax-credit caps
- Provide new-hire tax credits for small businesses
- Expand the angel investor tax credit
Require Economic-Impact Statements
We need to know how legislative proposals could affect Connecticut’s businesses and economy.
- Develop, with the input of economists and academic community, practical economic-impact statements to be included with all legislative proposals.
- Analysis should include the impact on job creation and retention, and other factors such as capital investment, the multiplier effect of jobs to be created, and Connecticut’s overall competitiveness.
Continue to Streamline State Government
The new state budget begins the process of reducing the number of state agencies and finding efficiencies within government, but more needs to be done. Proven practices and efficiency strategies can create a more effective and efficient state government here.
- Expand the use of lean techniques and other efficiency strategies throughout state government to maximize taxpayer dollars
- Continue and accelerate the use of qualified nonprofit organizations to provide a wide range of cost-effective, community-based services
- Work throughout state agencies to limit the use of overtime, especially for those nearing retirement age
- Streamline the effectiveness of state IT and communication resources to allow the state to gradually reduce costs without loss of service
- Continue to improve prison recidivism rates to reduce the cost and number of state prisons
Produce a More Competitive Workforce
We must close any “skills gap” preventing employers from expanding their workforces, and help current and future employees keep pace with changing skills requirements.
- Restore funds available for incumbent worker training and target them to such economic-growth sectors as manufacturing, healthcare and energy
- Open the state’s technical high schools’ manufacturing laboratories and classrooms for evening and weekend training to increase the state’s capacity to train or retrain individuals for critical manufacturing jobs
- Support national industry-recognized skill certifications for workforce development systems
Modernize Connecticut’s Infrastructures
Strategic, prioritized investments can bring our aging transportation system into the 21st century and enable our economy and jobs to grow.
- Require the DOT to develop a plan that coordinates all proposed and approved projects aimed at modernizing the I-91 and I-95 corridors connecting Connecticut with the New York and Boston markets.
- Support the efforts of the new Connecticut Airport Authority to promote the greater economic-development capacity of Bradley International and the state’s five other general aviation airports
Cut Red Tape
Cutting bureaucratic red tape, reducing regulatory costs and helping businesses understand and comply with myriad complex state regulations are important to unlocking economic growth.
Regulation Adoption and Review
- Adopt a statement modeled after President Obama’s Executive Order (#13563, Jan. 18, 2011) that specifies how government will promote economic development as it protects public safety and other interests.
- Make Connecticut’s permitting process more efficient, resulting in permit requirements that are reasonable, cost-effective and consistent with federal government and in other states. Adopt general permits, which can apply to hundreds of businesses across the state, more like regulations--including fiscal-impact and federal-consistency evaluations. This should also include evaluations of the best practices of other states as part of a “competitiveness-impact” analysis.
- State regulators should focus more on helping businesses understand often-complex regulations and reserving punitive enforcement measures to true offenders. Help should include greater use of written “guidance” materials (clearly labeled as guidance) that reference the underlying statutes or regulations they seek to clarify, and that are compiled and readily accessible to the regulated community.
Expand the Business-Friendly ‘Concierge’ Program
- We need to break down the barriers between businesses and the state. Lawmakers should expand the ‘concierge’ program, developing this one-stop resource for businesses to include support personnel to help employers quickly navigate state government.