A Connecticut state police helicoptor flies over the state Capitol Sunday, Jan. 17. Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

The Commerce Committee passed a bill that would tap 25% of the funds raised through the existing statewide tax on restaurant meals and put it toward grants for arts, culture and tourism organizations.

The committee also approved a bill that would allow small businesses to write off the costs of research and development, which Committee Co-Chair Joan Hartley, D-Waterbury, said is critical for small manufacturers trying to compete “in this particular economy, where we are engaging in i4.0, the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Both bills now head to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee for approval.

The committee also advanced a proposal for the state to study a visa cap exemption program that could help retain immigrant entrepreneurs, and it narrowly passed another program that would provide state funding to help establish more brownfield land banks to redevelop contaminated former industrial sites in the state.


Erica covers economic development for CT Mirror. Before moving to Connecticut to join the staff she worked in Los Angeles for public radio’s Marketplace and, before that, for the Wall Street Journal's L.A. bureau. She grew up in Minneapolis, MN, graduated from Haverford College and earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California.