Sen. Linares, Rep. Davis want to give grads rea$ons$ to stay (Hartford Business Journal)

March 11, 2013

Article as it appeared in the Hartford Business Journal

A pair of young Connecticut lawmakers are urging their state to do more to make it palatable for their age 20-something peers to stay and build the state’s economy.

State Sen. Art Linares and State Rep. Christopher Davis said Monday they are proposing legislation for the state to create a financial incentive for young entrepreneurs who graduate from the state’s colleges and technical schools to ply their fortunes here.

Modeled after a similar program in Maine, Linares and Davis propose graduates after Jan. 1, 2014 be allowed to deposit up to $2,500 of their annual state income-tax liability into a so-called “Learn Here, Live Here” account.

Then for up to 10 years afterward, participants could withdraw that money to establish a business, they said.

“Many of the young professionals we went to school with have left the state to pursue their dreams,” Linares, 24, a Westbrook entrepreneur, and Davis, a 26-year-old Ellington Realtor, said in a joint statement. “We view this as a major problem that we must start chipping away at now in order to help turn our economy around.”

“Our goal is to not only slow down the Connecticut brain drain, but to reverse it. Want Connecticut graduates to stay? Let’s start providing them with great reasons to stay.”
They say their proposal would serve as bedrock for other retention policies the state could adopt to make it “more business friendly.”

For instance, both lawmakers urge elimination or reduction of the state’s $250 business entity tax.

Davis represents the 57th House District, which includes East Windsor and Ellington.
Linares represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.
Both are Republicans.