Sen. Kane, Republican Lawmakers Say Oxford Airport Development Zone Bill Should Not Wait Until Fall

July 20, 2011

A Democrat proposal to delay the resurrection of the vetoed Oxford Airport development zone bill should be grounded, four Republican lawmakers from greater Waterbury said today.

“Why should we wait months to pass a pro-jobs bill when we can pass it in a matter of days?” State Senator Rob Kane (R-Watertown) said. “Just last week, Governor Malloy approved a $50 million incentive for a single company, Cigna. The Oxford Airport bill’s price tag is just $75,000 and it will benefit any number of companies that want to take advantage of it.”

The legislation proposed to establish an economic development zone around Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Oxford. It offered tax exemptions and tax credits to manufacturers and other eligible businesses that develop or acquire property in designated census tracts in Oxford, Southbury and Middlebury. The bill sought to replicate an economic development zone that has been established around Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks.

Prior to the governor’s veto of the bill, the Senate approved the bill unanimously and the House vote was 145-1.

On July 14, Kane and Reps. Anthony D’Amelio, R-71st District, David Labriola, R-Oxford and Arthur O’Neill, R-Southbury, wrote to House Speaker Christopher Donovan (D-Meriden) and Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams (D- Brooklyn) to request that the legislature override the governor’s Oxford Airport bill veto at the constitutionally required July 26 veto session. A two-thirds vote of both the Senate and the House is required to override a gubernatorial veto.

“Oxford, Middlebury and Southbury need jobs now,” the legislators wrote. “Ours is one of the fastest growing residential regions in the state, but we need more commercial activity. Providing incentives for the development of the area surrounding Oxford Airport will provide the economic activity our towns so desperately need. Speaker Donovan and Senator Williams, we have been presented with a golden opportunity: an opportunity to show that Connecticut is open for business. We can seize that opportunity by overriding this veto.”