They Have Gone Home, At Least for Now
CT Tech Legislation Update
As of midnight, June 7th, the General Assembly closed its Regular Session. Although one of their biggest responsibilities, passing a biennial budget was not accomplished thereby requiring a Special Session, there were a number of bills that affect the Technology Community that did pass. Those bills are:
Economic Development Programs and Financing
HB 5583: An Act Expanding Eligibility under the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. This bill allows additional types of businesses to qualify for an angel investor tax credit.
SB 966: An Act Concerning Economic Development Programs Administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development. This bill does three things:
- Requires reporting by the Department of Economic and Community Development and legislative approval to continue the first five plus program,
- Requires legislative approval of state investments under the urban and industrial sites program that exceed twenty million dollars, and
- Establishes as part of the small business express program a loan guarantee and short term bridge loan fund developed in consultation with private sector lenders
SB 962: An Act Concerning Development of Evaluative Metrics for Bioscience Investments in the State. This bill requires Connecticut Innovations to contract with a private vendor to develop metrics to evaluate the state’s investments in bioscience.
S.B.1051: This bill makes the following changes to various entrepreneurship and investment programs:
- allows CTNext, a Connecticut Innovations subsidiary, to accept additional rounds of innovation place applications and planning grant applications (§ 1);
- allows insurance companies who hold Invest CT tax credits to sell or otherwise transfer those credits to any taxpayer, rather than just to their affiliates, and makes a conforming change (§§ 2 & 3); and
- imposes various requirements on venture capital investments the Treasurer makes after July 1, 2017 (§ 4).
HB 5584: An Act Concerning the Creation of a Small Business Hotline. This bill requires the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) commissioner to establish and operate a hotline that provides individualized information and guidance to entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state on how to start and develop a business, identify networking resources, and access technical and financial assistance from state and quasi-public agencies. The commissioner must do this by October 1, 2017 (the bill’s effective date). She must also operate and staff the hotline within available appropriations. Lastly, the commissioner may establish, operate, and staff the hotline in collaboration with a nonprofit organization.
HB 7271 is a lengthy bill but some highlights include the creation of a technical education and career school system to oversee what are currently known as the state’s technical high schools. This new system will be operated separately from the state’s Department of Education. The bill also provides greater flexibility for manufacturing professionals to transition to teaching manufacturing skills by allowing such professionals to receive a certification for teaching with six years of work experience (rather than the current 8 years). Importantly, their time as an apprentice can count towards the six years.
SB 959: An Act Concerning An Inventory Of The State’s Bioscience Education Pipeline. This bill appoints a working group to report on Connecticut’s educational resources available for bioscience career prep.
SB 968: An Act Concerning the Connecticut Health Data Collaborative. This bill is an economic development initiative to study/pronote precision medicine and personalized health.
SB 1056: An Act Establishing a Working Group to Develop a Plan to Foster the Microbiome Sector in the State. This bill establishes a working group to develop legislative and programmatic initiatives to foster the microbiome sector in the state.
Just Plain Fun
HB 5928: An Act Concerning Manufacturing Permit for Farm Breweries. This bill establishes a farm brewery manufacturer permit, which allows for, among other things, the manufacture, storage, bottling, and wholesale distribution and sale of beer manufactured at any place or premises located on a farm. A permittee may produce up to 75,000 gallons of beer annually
(Special Thanks to CBIA and CURE for their continued efforts on supporting legislation important to the Technology Community.)
There were many bills that were not passed during the Regular Session that may end up being revived in the Special Session as an implementer of the whatever budget agreement is passed or part of the Capital Budget. Once the dust has settled from that process, CTC will provide any updates that affect our Community.