Christine Stuart photo
The only business initiative Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans agreed on Wednesday was the appointment of former Congressman Rob Simmons to the new office of Business Advocate.

Before the Senate got down to business Wednesday Republicans held a press conference to announce it would be introducing its economic growth initiatives as amendments on the floor because a comprehensive plan devised by their freshman colleague didn’t receive a public hearing.

Senate Minority Leader Louis DeLuca, R-Woodbury, (pictured) said Sen. Dan Debicella, R-Shelton, authored an expansion of the business tax incentive program initiated last year in the “Jobs for the 21st Century” legislation.

Christine Stuart photo
Debicella (pictured) said his proposal would create a new tax credit for any net new job created in any Connecticut company. The tax credit will be a one-year credit equal to 25 percent of the state withholding tax for that position.

He said while the program will cost between $7 and $8 million in the first year it will actually increase revenue to the state in the following years. In year two he estimated state revenues would increase $29 million if the same number of jobs was created.

Debicella said the state should also look at its existing regulations and have the Business Advocate create a cost-benefit analysis. He said if the cost out weighs the benefit then the regulation would be automatically repealed unless the legislature voted otherwise.

Democrats said they want to see the legislation they already passed fully implemented.

“Last year, with bipartisan support and the governor’s signature, we passed ‘Jobs for the 21st Century’ legislation that created the position of the Business Advocate,” Senate President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn said. “That landmark effort is now in trouble because the governor has not followed through.  Her 2007 budget proposal guts much of the initiative.”

“Jobs For The 21th Century” provided numerous incentives and programs for job growth and retention. It also provided resources for increased training and education. The governor eliminated the following:
$4 million for an urban jobs program
$250,000 for Engineering Connecticut forgivable loan program
$250,000 for You Belong graduate reimbursement grants
$125,000 for Generation Next
$125,000 for Future Scholars

“We hope Rob Simmons can help the Rell administration keep its eye on the ball and move forward,” Williams said.

Following his confirmation by the Senate Simmons said “we do best when we work together.” He said sometimes “we have to leave the campaign behind.”