Sen. Art Linares Cites Progress on Job Creation Proposals

March 26, 2013
Sen. Art Linares greets Genett St. James during his March 25 tour of Colchester-based manufacturer Alpha Q.  St. James works as a Deburrer at Alpha Q and is Group Leader in her department.  Linares has been touring area manufacturers and small businesses to discuss policies which can help create jobs.  Several of the proposals Linares is co-sponsoring at the State Capitol are making their way through the legislative process.

Sen. Art Linares greets Genett St. James during his March 25 tour of Colchester-based manufacturer Alpha Q. St. James works as a Deburrer at Alpha Q and is Group Leader in her department. Linares has been touring area manufacturers and small businesses to discuss policies which can help create jobs. Several of the proposals Linares is co-sponsoring at the State Capitol are making their way through the legislative process.

The state legislature’s Commerce Committee on Tuesday acted favorably on several pro-business proposals backed by Sen. Art Linares.

Linares, who serves on the panel, expressed optimism that the bills can eventually become state law.

One bill co-sponsored by Linares aims to extend the state’s temporary Job Expansion Tax Credit Program (JET) for two years. Under current law, state businesses can only qualify for the JET program if they create new jobs between January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2014. The new proposal moves the 2014 end date to 2016.

“Extending this credit will allow more businesses to take advantage of it and create more opportunities for folks who are looking for work,” Linares said. “Keeping this program around for two more years will also enable us to better assess its effectiveness.”

In order to claim the $500 to $900 per job credit under the JET program, businesses with 0-50 employees must have one new employee in the taxable year; businesses with 51-100 employees must create five new jobs, and businesses with 100 or more must create 10 new jobs.

Qualifying businesses earn a credit of $500 dollars a month for every new job created, and $900 a month if the position is filled by an employee who has not had a full time job since their unemployment benefits ran out, is a military veteran, or is receiving vocational rehabilitation services from the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services.

“The savings that a small business can realize for each of these new jobs is considerable,” Linares said. “That’s what we are trying to create: an environment which helps small businesses grow jobs.”

Another Linares-backed bill passed by the Commerce Committee on Tuesday would develop a Connecticut Antiques Trail, in an effort to highlight the state’s numerous antique shops. Linares said it makes sense to expand the trail statewide to connect more antiques dealers with collectors, similar to the Connecticut Wine Trail. The bill also has the support of the Eastern Regional Tourism District.

Another bill co-sponsored by Linares which passed the committee would establish a tax credit for businesses that provide scholarships for manufacturing training programs. The proposal would provide a credit for businesses donating more than $2500 to scholarships that help Connecticut students attend manufacturing training programs in the state.

“This is a bill that is both good for businesses and good for students,” Linares said. “Area manufacturers need skilled workers. We need to help meet that demand. This proposal encourages more students to embark on careers in manufacturing while providing incentives for businesses to invest in the programs which will train them.”

Linares said he plans to monitor the bills closely as they continue to move closer to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Linares (www.senatorlinares.com) represents the 33rd Senate District, which encompasses Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.