Lamont wants to ‘re-tool’ business assistance programs, create job growth


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — In a news conference Thursday, Governor Ned Lamont outlined his first proposals for the new legislative session in the Capitol that starts next week.

One of his big goals: to completely “re-tool” the way Connecticut encourages business and job growth.

The governor chose a co-working space incubator for business start-ups in downtown Hartford to announce that his first proposal of the new year will completely turn around how the Department of Economic Development interacts with businesses to create jobs and economic growth.

“We’re talking about incentives, throwing a lot less money upfront, which has been the norm. Now; you earn it as you go. As I said; If you invest in Connecticut, we invest in you.”

– Governor Ned Lamont (D-CT)

Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman adding, “We want to compete because of our health care, because of our workforce, our quality of life, our education. There’s going to be a big focus on innovation in our cities in particular, that’s how we want to compete.”

The plan is a complete repudiation of the approach taken for the entire eight years of the Governor Dannel Malloy administration.

“In the old days, maybe it was; here’s a grant, here’s a bucket of money, come and deliver and if it doesn’t work I claw it back.”

– Governor Ned Lamont (D-CT)

Under this plan, the economic development commissioner says, businesses will have to create jobs here first with the promise that any tax breaks or other incentives will come later.

The Republican leader in the Senate, Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) said this in reaction to the announcement: “I think that the commissioner has got the right attitude, the right idea, which is; come here, produce and then we’ll give you the reward which is the complete opposite of what Malloy’s administration did.”

The governor is expected to talk more about this change in his speech next week on the opening day of the General Assembly session. The Governor says, and Republicans appear to agree, that this approach will help to grow business and jobs with much less risk to the taxpayers.

WEB EXTRA: Full press conference in which Governor Lamont outlines his first proposals for the new legislative session

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