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Contact: Adam Joseph

March 15, 2012

Senate Democrats Jobs Plan Wins Approval of Commerce Committee

Growing Connecticut jobs, number 1 priority for Senate Democrats

The Senate Democrats’ Jobs Bill won the approval today of the General Assembly’s Commerce Committee. The 5-point plan, SB 1 An Act Concerning Connecticut Jobs and the Economy, aims to help small businesses protect and grow jobs and boost Connecticut’s economy.

“While the economy is beginning to show some encouraging signs, we can not lose sight of our most important mission, helping small businesses create jobs and putting Connecticut residents back to work,” said Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D—Brooklyn). “Our jobs plan expands aid for small businesses, provides incentives for hiring unemployed residents, places an emphasis on Connecticut made goods, boosts our states historic treasures and protects the unemployed from discrimination.”

A critical component of the jobs legislation proposed this session, the “STEP-Up for Veterans” initiative seeks to reverse the trend of disproportionately high unemployment among young veterans by connecting them with meaningful employment upon their return. Specifically, the bill would make any Connecticut-based business that hires an unemployed combat veteran who served in Iraq or Afghanistan eligible to receive a grant of up to six months of that veteran’s salary and training costs, up to $12,000 per soldier. The legislation proposes an additional $10 million in bonding to fund the program.

“For veterans who risked their lives on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, State Senate Democrats want to welcome these brave soldiers back to Connecticut with the prospect of a job,” said Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney. “Our new jobs plan seeks to reverse the trend of disproportionately high unemployment among young veterans by connecting them with meaningful employment upon their return.”

State Senator Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford), Senate Chairman of the Commerce Committee added: “I want to thank Don Williams for his leadership in keeping a focus on growing jobs and the economy right here in Connecticut,” said “The legislature has been working very hard on re-making the state economy, and policy initiatives like last year’s jobs bill and this year’s five-point plan are clear and convincing proof that we mean business here in Connecticut.”

The Senate Democrats’ jobs plan includes:

  1. Expanding the definition of a small business from 50 employees to 100 employees thereby making them eligible for the Business Express Program and other jobs programs created during the October jobs special session.
  2. Expanding the Step Up program to give businesses incentive grants to hire post 9/11 combat veterans returning from over seas.
  3. Launch of a Connecticut Made marketing campaign to spur local businesses both for production and retail administered by DECD.
  4. Institute Connecticut Treasures program. DECD would lead an effort to promote Connecticut’s many rich educational and enjoyable tourist destinations.
  5. Preventing discrimination against the unemployed. Prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants because they are unemployed.

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