Connecticut Governor Opposes ‘Onerous’ Innovation Districts Bill

Gov. Dannel Malloy's administration lauds the bill's intentions of sparking economic growth in the Nutmeg State, the fiscal impact would be harmful to the state's overall economy.

by Alexander Soule, The Advocate, Stamford, Conn. / March 29, 2016
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy Dannel Malloy

(TNS) -- The administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is opposing the concept of “innovation districts” proposed by the finance committee of the Connecticut General Assembly, arguing the bill would only add to the state’s fiscal woes.

The first Senate bill introduced in 2016 legislative session, the proposed act would funnel provide $25 million in grants to newly designated innovation districts, along with the same amount to business accelerators throughout the state and $60 million as loans to startups.

The bill would also create a quasi-public office dubbed ImpaCT with a majority of its members “serial” entrepreneurs to promote policies that foster startups, while acting as a liaison between startups and state agencies. And the legislation would establish an office that would work to commercialize technologies being developed at universities or corporations not interested in pursuing products themselves based on those developments.

“While we recognize the positive intentions of the bill, we are deeply concerned about the significant fiscal impact of this bill given the state’s new economic reality,” said Ben Marnes, secretary of the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, in testimony to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly. “It contains many new tax credits and additional expenditures which we cannot entertain in this current economic environment. At present the state has limited revenues and a need to cancel existing bond authorizations because of those revenue limitations.”

©2016 The Advocate (Stamford, Conn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.