The General Assembly has failed to override Governor Dannel Malloy's veto of a bill that helped address Connecticut's growing shortage of skilled manufacturing workers.
The state Senate acted during the legislature's June 25 veto session, failing to muster the two-thirds support—24 votes—of the 36-member chamber needed to overturn the governor's veto.
CBIA and a number of other organizations called for lawmakers to override the veto of SB 261, which extends the existing manufacturing apprenticeship tax credit to pass-through entities such S corporations and limited liability partnerships.
"This bill is about small business and jobs," CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan said.
"The top concern Connecticut manufacturers face is finding skilled workers to fill thousands of well-paying positions."
Originally Passed Unanimously
Only 18 senators voted in favor of overturning the veto, while five senators were absent or abstained from the vote. Both the Senate and the state House originally approved the bill unanimously.
Sen. Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) said she's been in contact with the business community, manufacturers, and the governor's office in an attempt to make changes to the bill that would satisfy all sides.
Hartley indicated the bill may be resurrected in a special session this summer, but said she still needs to clarify some of its language.
The bill will spur growth in Connecticut, which is exactly what we need as a state right now.
Malloy's opposition centered around a fiscal note that tagged the bill’s cost at $650,000—an amount not funded in the budget.
'Pays for Itself'
But Sen. Scott Frantz (R-Greenwich) said the bill would likely pay for itself within one year through the jobs it creates.
He said the bill will "spur growth in Connecticut, which is exactly what we need as a state right now."
"We need to do everything we can to get this economy going because it means economic prosperity, it means money in the coffers here in Hartford," Frantz said.
Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) said placing a cap on how much of a credit can be taken is one way to fix the bill.
Small businesses say the tax credit provides just a tiny fraction—the lesser of $6 per hour, $7,500, or 50% of an apprentice's wages—of the overall investment needed to train workers.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) expressed disappointment at the Senate's inability to overturn the SB 261 veto.
"I will personally be introducing it again next year," Aresimowicz said. "I think it was a good bill and we should have done it."