Emerging from a meeting with legislative leaders Monday, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he felt “invigorated” by the possibilities of an Oct. 26 special session on jobs and job creation.
He spoke about broad concepts that he planned to introduce as part of his jobs legislation, but said nothing was ironed out just yet.
Increased education and job training efforts, eliminating regulation hurdles, increasing access to capital, and giving state economic development officials more tools to make sure Connecticut can be competitive with respect to other states—are the main areas Malloy is focusing his efforts.
And while some have wondered whether it will be a bipartisan effort, House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, confirmed that so far it has been.
“We’re confident it will continue to be,” Cafero said.
He said Republican caucus staff has gotten together with the governor’s staff to talk about all the ideas and discovered, “There’s a lot of overlap. A lot of common ground,” Cafero said.
Once it’s finished Cafero and Malloy are both hoping there won’t be too much to argue about since there’s likely to only be one bill.
“Our hope is that this will be one package,” Cafero said. “One package that sends a message to the business community of this state and the world that we are together on this issue of creating jobs and making Connecticut business friendly.”
“I think we’re capable of developing a consensus agenda,” Malloy said. “I think the basis is already there.”
But in an already tight budget year, with little room for error, will any of the proposals cost the state money?
“I don’t want to say no spending recommendations will be made, but believe me I’m cognizant of our limitations,” Malloy said. “Doing it in the current budget year is more difficult than doing it in the out years.”
But Malloy said he anticipates using bond funds to support some of the proposals.
According to a draft documents from the Department of Economic and Community Development which was handed out at the private meeting Malloy had with legislative leaders, there’s a proposal to use $5 million in bond funds to create an express package of economic assistance to businesses. The loans could range from $1 million to $50,000.
“I would anticipate some capital expenditures,” Malloy said.
He added that even within the current budget lawmakers have the ability to redirect or change how funds are distributed.
There are also proposals in the draft to simplify the job creation tax credit, authorize the creation of a special project (with funding of up to $500,000) to hire an expert to work with state agencies to redesign permitting processes, get rid of the $250 Business Entity Tax, and to reduce “angel” investment threshold from $100,000 to $25,000.
Earlier in the day Malloy unveiled his agenda for an Oct. 6 “Economic Summit” where he will continue to fine tune legislation for the Oct. 26 special session.