Manufacturing was front and center on the legislative agenda during the 2022 session, with lawmakers debating bills ranging from tax credits to workforce development.
The legislature passed, as a provision in the budget revisions billthe expansion of the manufacturing apprenticeship tax credit to pass-through entities.
The CBIA advocated extensively for this policy, with 28 co-sponsors and bipartisan support for the original bill.
This credit puts small and midsize companies that file as pass-through entities on an equal playing field with their larger corporate counterparts.
Apprenticeships are absolutely critical to the manufacturing workforce and will be needed to meet the demand for employees which is projected at 6,000 new workers per year due to the impact of retirements and new defense contracts.
CBIA applauds the legislature’s leadership in passing this policy.
R&D Tax Credits
Section 158 of the budget calls for a study to be conducted by the Department of Economic and Community Development on the feasibility of allowing pass-through entity businesses to take advantage of the R&D tax credit.
While it would have been better had the proposal been fully enacted, this study will help lawmakers get a better understanding of what its costs.
Section 424-428 includes provisions of the JobsCT Tax Rebate Program.
CBIA advocated for this program for the past two years noting that this bill focuses on increasing the taxpayer’s return on investment.
Prior job creation programs borrowed around $ 200 million annually and subscribed to an ad hoc approach to recruiting larger companies to the state.
This earn-as-you-grow incentive is the right direction for ensuring maximum return on state invested dollars as well as increased transparency and accountability by all parties.
The budget altered HB 5266 by shifting responsibility to the Office of Workforce Strategy’s chief workforce officer to develop a model student work release policy by July 1, 2023 with all boards of education to adopt it by 2023-2024 school year.
CBIA and affiliate ReadyCT strongly advocated for this section noting that a strong workforce begins with ensuring a wide array of education experiences ranging from classroom instruction, hands on experience, and work-based learning.
Having a clear student release policy allows students to explore new and exciting opportunities that enrich their educational experience and create well rounded students.
With the labor shortage crisis hampering economic recovery, SB 407 requires the Department of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with OWS and regional workforce development boards, to develop and implement a Post COVID-19 Women’s Return to Work Economic Development Plan.
This includes the establishment of partnerships with institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, professional business associations, and childcare and transit providers to develop and promote return to work initiatives, paid internships in high-growth industries, job and career fairs, professional mentorships, experiential learning opportunities, and educational and employment coaching services for women seeking to return to work.
The department is also tasked with providing business incentives to increase apprenticeship and internship opportunities for women.
SB 228 changes who administers the Pipeline for Connecticut’s Future Program from a local or regional school board of education to the State Department of Education and the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship Training.
These offices will assist local and regional boards to enhance existing partnerships and establish new partnerships for pathway programs.
The goal of the program is to help students obtain occupational licenses, apprenticeships, immediate job skills, industry specific class time, and cooperative work placement.
The bill also strengthens language requiring school counselors to provide information regarding the board’s jurisdiction of the availability of vocational, technical, technological, and postsecondary education and training at technical education / career schools as well as agricultural science and technology education at regional agricultural science and technology education centers.
The Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee passed SB 103which expands the appropriate uses of Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority loans.
Under current law, these loans can only be taken out for collegiate purposes. This bill expands the eligibility criteria to post secondary purposes including higher education, such as certificate programs that are crucial components to the manufacturing workforce pipeline.
The budget included additional conforming and technical changes for the separation of the CTECS from the Department of Education.
The budget appropriated approximately $ 170 million to continue this process.
The budget included provisions from SB 102which requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to provide the Release-Based Working Group a copy of the regulations prior to posting notice on the eRegulations portal pursuant to section 4-168.
This group is charged with promulgating the regulations that would switch Connecticut over to a release-based system from the Transfer Act System.
This is critical for economic and environmental development and will align the state with 48 other states across the country.
As the state recovers from the pandemic, it remains critical for manufacturers to connect with policymakers to ensure pro-growth legislation.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Ashley Zane (860.244.1169) | @ AshleyZane9.