Jackson Lab Hearing

October 21, 2011
Senator Toni Boucher, listening to Jackson Lab officials testify before the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee in Hartford

Senator Toni Boucher, listening to Jackson Lab officials testify before the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee in Hartford

Hartford, CT – A day-long hearing Thursday centered on the nonprofit Jackson Laboratory bringing 320 jobs to Farmington over the next 10 years was held before the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee.

Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton), member on the committee listened intently as executives from Jackson Labs presented their case for why the state should invest $291 million in the project.

“I’m weighing the pros and cons as I read and listen to the testimony. We need to gather as much information as possible to make an educated decision during the upcoming jobs special session,” said Senator Toni Boucher.

“We have 8.9% unemployment in our state – any chance of bringing in real long lasting jobs to Connecticut is one, we ought to investigate,” added Senator Boucher. “I am concerned however, that the state needs some assurances that the investment will be a wise one.”

Senator Boucher suggested, “For example, why not get a percentage of any potential royalty on any future scientific intellectual property licensed at Jackson Labs?”

Michael Hyde, a vice president for Jackson Labs, told lawmakers that the genetic research institute believes that Connecticut has the right atmosphere and infrastructure for the lab to recruit around the world for top scientists.

The proposed state plan for Jackson Lab includes:

  • $192 million forgivable loan at 1 percent
  • $99 million grant for research
  • Ownership of the title to a 173,000 square foot facility on state-owned land free-of-charge (after 20 yrs and 600 jobs created)

The lab would employ and generate an estimated:

  • 320 highly paid scientists and technicians in the first 10 years
  • 800 construction jobs
  • In an econometric model known as the REMI model, the state projects the potential spin-off jobs created at 4,000.

    Catherine Smith, the state Economic Development Commissioner, told legislators that North Carolina and San Diego have proven that there has been growth in spin-off jobs that could be duplicated in Farmington.

    As a non-profit, Jackson will not pay any corporate taxes to the state and no property taxes to Farmington. Commissioner Smith told legislators that while the details have not yet been written into the projection, Farmington could be eligible for $700,000 to $1.2 million from the state as payment in lieu of taxes.

    There are a lot of questions that Senator Boucher would like to have flushed out before the special jobs session on October 26.