Category Archives: Economy

“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” Now In Stamford

by Categorized: Economy, Gov. Dannel Malloy Tagged: , Date:

BY MATTHEW Q. CLARIDA

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” the popular quiz show that has inspired blockbuster films and emerged as a piece of modern Americana, began production last week from studios in Stamford.

The television show has also brought 150 new jobs to the state, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Malloy called the move “just the latest example of how our efforts to build Connecticut’s television and digital media industry have paid off tremendously over the last three years.”

The relocation is not a complete freebie for the state. Millionaire’s producer, Disney’s Valleycrest Productions, is eligible for tax credits of up to 30 percent for production expenses.

Connecticut has become something of a destination for television and film production. NBC Sports opened a 33 acre campus in Stamford in January of 2013, and ESPN–the self proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports”–is headquartered in Bristol. Both networks have received tax considerations under Malloy’s controversial First Five program.

Bill Creating Quasi-State Port Authority Becomes Law

by Categorized: Economy, Transportation Tagged: , , Date:

Officials in Connecticut’s three largest ports – New London, New Haven and Bridgeport – have complained for years that the state is overlooking the economic possibilities of developing our commercial harbors.

Gov. Dannel Malloy traveled to New London Monday to publicize his signing of a bill (which he actually signed last Friday) designed to eventually create a state-wide quasi-public port authority” to promote and improve all three ports.

Malloy said the new authority has made him “more confident than ever that Connecticut’s ports will be in a stronger position to attract more private investment and import and export business while also taking trucks off of our congested highways and driving job growth around the state.”

In fact, the new authority won’t actually come into existence for a while yet. For one thing, most of the legislation won’t take effect until October 2015.

Continue reading

Senate Approves UTC/Pratt & Whitney Tax Credit Bill By 34 – 2

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Economy, General Assembly, Gov. Dannel Malloy, John McKinney Date:

HARTFORD – The state Senate gave final legislative approval Thursday to a bipartisan bill to allow Hartford-based United Technologies Corp. to use earned, but unused, tax credits in exchange for $500 million in improvements over the next five years in Connecticut.

The bill passed by 34 to 2 with Democrats touting the deal as a major step forward for the state’s largest private employer. Two Republicans said the deal amounted to “corporate welfare” and a giveaway to a highly profitable, multinational corporation.

The bipartisan bill applies only to large manufacturing companies that have at least 15,000 employees in Connecticut and have $400 million in accumulated research-and-development tax credits. As such, lawmakers say the bill is specifically targeted at United Technologies, even though the company is never mentioned by name in the bill.

The deal calls for Pratt & Whitney to maintain its headquarters in the state for at least 15 years and for Stratford-based Sikorsky to remain for at least five years. In exchange, UTC would be able to use up to a maximum of $400 million in research-and-development tax credits that it has already accumulated.

State Sen. John Fonfara, the co-chairman of the tax-writing finance committee, said the Pratt improvements in East Hartford will be “housing the best and brightest in the world, mostly Ph.D.’s in engineering.”

Fonfara added that Sikorsky Aircraft will be doing “game-changing research on the next generation of helicopters.”

Lawmakers said that 2,500 suppliers, including many machine shops, will benefit as the parent company prospers. More than 700 of those suppliers have dealings of $100,000 or more, lawmakers said. With thousands of employees, UTC’s economic impact works its way all the way down to dry cleaners, grocery stores, and retailers, lawmakers said.

“For me, it is a bet on the future,” Fonfara told his colleagues on the Senate floor. “Not only a bet on the best and brighest engineers” but a bet that Connecticut will benefit, too.

“We want you here, UTC,” Fonfara said on the Senate floor. “We want your family of companies here in the state. Those 600 new engineers that you hire every year, we want them here in this state. … That’s a win-win for Connecticut. Right here in the small state of Connecticut.”

But Sen. Anthony Guglielmo, a Stafford Springs Republican with 22 years at the state Capitol, said the deal was an example of “corporate welfare” and a giveaway to a huge international corporation with major profits. He criticized the “First Five” program of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for awarding tax breaks to companies in the hopes of keeping jobs in the state. 

“I do have a problem with the concept of picking winners and losers,” Guglielmo said. “It’s better than Starwood [hotels]. It’s better than Jackson Labs. It’s better than ESPN. It’s better than NBC. … But when you cut to the chase, it’s still corporate welfare. … This is a healthy company. They’ve got $6 billion in profits. That’s billion with a B. … If they do not create a single job, they’ll get 90 percent of that $400 million. That’s incredible. It’s a terrific deal for UTC.”

He added, “You’re talking about $400 million. You’re talking about a company with $6 billion in profits. That’s 7 or 8 percent of one year’s profits to build its headquarters. … This is a drop in the bucket for UTC. They could easily do this. … It makes me a little queasy to giving them $400 million to a company that said, “Any place but Connecticut.”

Guglielmo said, “This is not a sustainable course. We can’t keep throwing money at this large company and that large company.” Continue reading

Q Poll Gives Malloy Top Marks for Storm Management, Weaker Ratings on Economy, Jobs

by Categorized: Economy, Education, Gambling, Gov. Dannel Malloy, State budget, taxes, Uncategorized Date:

Good on snowstorms, not so good on budgets, the economy and jobs.

That\’s one finding of a new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy\’s handling of various issues facing the state.

First, the good news for the Democratic governor: 86 percent of voters, including 84 percent of Republicans, approve of the way Malloy is handling this winter\’s snowstorms.

But, according to the poll, Malloy gets weaker grades on economic and budgetary matters. Fifty three percent said they disapprove of the way Malloy is handling the budget, and 63 percent disapprove of the way he is handling taxes.

Almost two-thirds of voters — roughly 60 percent — disapprove of the way Malloy is handling jobs and the economy; 33 percent approve.

Malloy\’s plan to use a portion f the state\’s budget surplus to give state taxpayers a $55 tax refund was branded as a \”political gimmick\” by 63 percent of respondents. Twenty three percent called it \”good public policy.\”

About a third of voters said Malloy\’s economic policies have hurt their personal financial situation while just 6 percent said they have helped — and 57 percent said they have made no difference.

On Malloy\’s education policy, respondents were split: 41 percent approve of his handling of education and 43 percent disapprove, according to the poll.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 36 percent of voters say the economy and jobs should be the priority for Malloy and the legislature while 14 percent said it should be taxes and 11 percent, education.

Asked to assess the state of Connecticut\’s economy, nearly 75 percent rated it as \”not so good\” or \”poor.\” Just 24 percent rated it \”good.\”

The poll also asked about keno, a bingo-like gambling product for bars and restaurants that state lawmakers approved last year and are poised to repeal this year. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they do not think the game should be permitted while 29 percent support it.

 

 

 

Another Ranking, Another Day At Bottom

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Economy, General Assembly Date:

Sarah Arnett of George Mason University has come up with a \”state fiscal condition index\” that measures a state\’s overall financial health. It isn\’t pretty. Connecticut\’s low ranking is due to decades of mismanagement and overspending.

\"Map-Table-9\"From George Mason:

Although the ranking is a snapshot in time, the states at the bottom are there due to years of poor financial management decisions, bad economic conditions, or a combination of the two. New Jersey and Connecticut face similar problems: tax revenues that have not kept up with expenditures, use of budget practices that only appeared to balance their annual budgets, and significant debt levels as a result of decades of using bonds without being able to pay for them (State Budget Crisis Task Force 2012). In addition, both states have underfunded their pension systems, resulting in billions in unfunded liabilities.

CT Near Top In Politico Ranking Of States

by Categorized: Economy, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Newtown Date:

Politico Magazine ranked the states and guess what, Nutmeg haters, Connecticut is a pretty good place to live.

It\’s highly subjective and prepared inside-the-Beltway, but here\’s what they did:

Politico Magazine rounded up 14 different state rankings from reputable sources like the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI, and on important factors such as high school graduation rates, per capita income, life expectancy and crime rate. Then we averaged out each state’s 14 rankings to come up with a master list—atop which sits none other than New Hampshire.

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Liberal Arts Majors: Hold On, You Might Succeed

by Categorized: Economy, Education Date:

\"englishA report released Wednesday morning suggests that the much-maligned liberal arts degree may not be so out-dated after all. Researchers Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly looked at lifetime earnings and the career paths of liberal arts majors. Using U.S. Census Bureau data, they examined the \”earnings trajectories and career pathways\” of liberal arts majors compared to those majoring in science, mathematics, engineering and \”professional and preprofessional\” fields like business and education.

The news is that eventually, liberal arts majors do OK.

Here are a couple of findings that may provide reassurance to the parents of English majors graduating this year, at least compared to students who go into business and education:

– At peak earnings ages (56-60 years) workers who majored as undergraduates in the humanities or social sciences earn annually on average about $2000 more than those who majored as undergraduates in professional or pre-professional fields. These data include all college graduates working full-time, including those with only a baccalaureate degree and those with both a baccalaureate and graduate or professional degree.

– The unemployment rate for recent liberal arts graduates is 5.2 percent.  The unemployment rate for mature workers with liberal arts degrees (41-50) is 3.5 percent—just .04 percent higher than the rates for those with a professional or preprofessional degree.

Millionaire List: Where The Rich People Are

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Economy Date:

As a percentage of the population, many of them are still in Connecticut (and thankfully, paying the taxes that are bailing out our financial mess). And despite what some folks like to tell us, there were more millionaires in Connecticut in 2013 over 2012.

This is from a report prepared by Phoenix Marketing International, which uses data from the Federal Reserve, Census Bureau and the Neilson Co. The United States added 52,948 millionaires in 2013 and Connecticut added 1,519.

Here are the numbers for 2013:

\"millionaireAnd here are the numbers for 2012:

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Courtney: Deal Brings Defense Money

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Economy, Joe Courtney Date:

The $1.1 trillion federal budget deal is good news for the submarine industry, substantially boosting funding for the Virginia Class Submarine Program and restoring the two-subs-per-year schedule for Electric Boat in Groton. The agreement ends an effort to eliminate a submarine from the yearly construction schedule.

The budget includes $6.5 billion for the Virginia Class Submarine program — $1.2 billion more than the original budget request. It also funds $1.1 billion in research and development for the Ohio Replacement Program and $59 million Virginia Payload Module program.

“The spending bill passed today in the House is a major victory for Connecticut’s defense industry and our economy as a whole,” Courtney said in a statement Wednesday evening. “The full commitment to submarine production and development is a strong indicator of the critical role of our nation’s undersea fleet in America’s national security strategy and a reflection of the hard work done each and every day by the men and women of Electric Boat. In a tough budget climate, and with most defense programs experiencing cuts to meet reduced budget resources, the 22% increase in funding for Virginia Class submarines is a tremendous win.\’\’

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