(WTNH)-State lawmakers are facing difficult circumstances in their ongoing efforts to adopt a biennial state budget. Bipartisan revenue and spending solutions will be needed. In the midst of this, lawmakers are well-advised to prioritize state investments that help make Connecticut economically competitive and build on its greatest strengths.
Posigen says with respect to the CT Green Bank, the Republican-drafted proposal that passed the House and Senate does not do this. The proposal sweeps $13.0 million in both FY-18 and FY19, which is half of the Green Bank’s primary revenue source. Taking half of this $0.01/kWh surcharge on electric ratepayers amounts to an energy tax on ratepayers.
They say by transferring $26 million from the Green Bank, the state actually loses over $185 million of private investment into the state economy and over 800 direct jobs.
Leverage and Efficiency: For every one public dollar the Green Bank committed lately, it has averaged eight times the amount in private capital investment. Of the $1 of ratepayer funds it uses, the CT Green Bank gets back $0.70 because it loans out resources versus providing them as grants.
Economic Engine: In its first 5 years of activity, the Green Bank has mobilized over $1 billion in private investment into Connecticut’s energy future. The combined investments of the Green Bank and its private capital partners leads to greater state income tax receipts through job creation and in certain circumstances sales tax revenue. We create energy savings opportunities for small businesses including manufacturers in major industry supply chains, helping them to achieve economic durability.
Merit: The Green Bank thinks like a start-up but produces big results. The Green Bank is a nationally-recognized jewel, most recently by Harvard University in being selected over 500+ other applicants to win the 2017 Innovations in American Government award.
Public-Private Partnerships: The Green Bank operates like a financial institution. Most of what looks like unencumbered cash is purpose-restricted and tied to public-private commitments on existing projects. The Green Bank has a certain level of liquidity for a reason, and a sweep will cause it to renege on offers with contractors, project developers or financiers that have each already made significant expenditures to get to the present state of their projects, whether on design, engineering and legal work, or major equipment orders with long lead times. De-funding the Green Bank and forcing it to back out of co-investments is a quick way to lose trust with banks, investors and developers, while sending signals about CT’s adequacy as a co-development partner. Businesses and investors who get burned don’t return – they will instead take their investment dollars to other states.