A group of Democratic lawmakers laid out their recommendations to create jobs and jumpstart the economy the day before the legislature convenes.

The plan – compiled from input from business owners, economists and legislators – recommends the state bond $12 million for “high-potential entrepreneurs”, create a tax credit for those investing in start-up companies, use $75 million of state pension funds to support companies considering leaving Connecticut.

“For far too long Connecticut has taken the business as usual approach,” House Majority Leader Denise W. Merrill said. “We need to make Connecticut competitive again.”

Merrill said the suggestions from the job growth round table will be drafted into bills to be considered during this year’s legislative session.

Sen. Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford), co-chair of the commerce committee, said the report is filled with “excellent ideas” and plans to bring before his committee several of the suggestions.

The report also suggests expanding existing tax credits to those investing in energy innovation and clean technologies.

Merrill said Republican’s were not involved in crafting the proposals because “It is a Democratic initiative. They’re not chairs of the committees so …”

While unhappy Republicans were not included in this group, Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney said he is glad that Democrats are finally seriously considering suggestions that Republicans have been calling for for years and hopes the report is not just more rhetoric.

“We have supported some of these things for years and they have rejected them,” the Fairfield Republican said. “There are no new ideas here.”

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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