From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos:
On Wednesday, October 26th, the General Assembly will come together for a special session with the goal of creating a positive jobs growth atmosphere in Connecticut. Our state’s economic recovery has been painfully slow and unemployment rates have continued to hold steady at an unacceptably high level.
Governor Malloy has toured the state to promote the “jobs session.” There are four main areas where I believe the legislature can make a difference and set our state on a better course.
First, we need to make Connecticut a friendlier place to do business. We can do this by reforming the regulatory and permitting processes that can make it difficult for a new business to obtain a permit and navigate the complex world of state regulations. In addition, we must lower taxes by looking at ways to further consolidate state agencies, eliminate government waste and inefficiency, and engage private companies to perform some public services at a lower cost.
Second, we have to encourage and retain small business growth. Nearly 80% of our state’s jobs are created by small businesses – namely those with 10 employees or less. We can help draw small businesses to our state by providing tax credits to encourage out-of-state companies to relocate to Connecticut. Sometimes, it’s simply access to a loan that can hold a business back, so we also need to look at enhancing the small business assistance revolving loan program.
Third, we should develop our existing industries and resources, including fuel cell technology and aerospace engineering, to encourage the creation of next generation jobs. We can also help bring life back to abandoned and contaminated properties, called brownfield sites, by establish incentives such as property tax abatements for companies that agree to relocate at least 30 employees from another state to sites that have been cleaned and rehabilitated.
We need to concentrate on our most valuable resource: our highly skilled and educated workforce. We must incentivize college graduates to stay in our state and stem the ‘brain drain’ by helping them afford to live and work here. We should encourage greater enrollment in Vo-Tech programs and increase participation in apprenticeship training which will ultimately address the shortage of workers with manufacturing experience.
In the end, it all comes down to jobs and the ability to put food on the table. As I make my own preparations to bring ideas to the legislative table, I would like to invite you and your family to get involved in the process and share your suggestions with me. Please feel free to contact my state office at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 800-842-1421.