Commerce Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-445

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING AN ANALYSIS OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMISSION ON FISCAL STABILITY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH.

Vote Date:

3/22/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/20/2018

File No.:

Disclaimer: The following JOINT FAVORABLE Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Commerce Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

The bill requires the DECD commissioner to analyze the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth's report and submit her findings to the Commerce Committee by January 1, 2019. The state needs the report analyzed.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Catherine H. Smith, Commissioner, DECD: Opposes the bill stating that staffing levels in the agency have dropped approximately 20%. As such, they “do not have the resources to dedicate to any studies.”

Dannel P. Malloy, Governor, State of CT: Supports the bill urging the legislature to consider the commission's recommendations.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Susan Pronovost, Executive Director, CT Greenhouse Growers Association: The association is pleased with the bill, but points out two concerns. One being the proposal in FY 2020 to eliminate approximately 14% of the value of exemptions and deductions from state sales tax. Without a clear description of what the 14% would consist of, they urge the continued exemption of raw materials utilized in greenhouses. The second being the incremental increase of the minimum wage. Entry-level workers, most of whom are seasonal, “first-time job” workers, would receive the benefits of this raise, however, senior staff will also then receive a raise due to the increased compensation “ceiling.”

Paul Pescatello, Senior Council & Executive Director, CT Bioscience Growth Council: Supports the bill. He urges that this bill be linked with SB-446. The most important thing the state can do to help grow the Bioscience Industry is “bring balance and stability” to the state budget.

Supriyo B. Chatterjee, co-founder CTDOTNET (Microsoft Professional Developers): Supports the bill. He urges more focus on Hartford's economic growth, specifically.

Gian-Carl Casa, President & CEO, The Alliance: Supports the bill with two important considerations. 1) “Take advantage of the savings offered by the high-quality services offered by community nonprofits.” 2) “Reject proposals to make an additional $1 billion in cuts from the half of the state budget subject to them.”

Ray Noonan, Associate Fiscal Policy Fellow, Connecticut Voices for Children: Supports the bill. It is important for policymakers to carefully analyze the consequences of the commission's report. They further ask that this bill require DECD to analyze the “impact of the Commission's proposals on children and families as well as on communities of color.”

James Fleming, President, Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association: Supports the bill.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Lori J. Pelletier, President, Connecticut AFL-CIO: Opposes the bill. They urge the committee to “focus their attention on efforts to make long term education, workforce and infrastructure investments that will yield long-term sustainable economic growth from which everyone will benefit.”

Stephen Anderson, President, CSEA SEIU Local 2001: Opposes the bill. They do not like the lack of oversight involved with privatization contracts in the past.

Reported by: Stevie Hoyt

Date: 3/28/18