Ned Lamont’s Business Plan for Connecticut

Ned Lamont's Business Plan for Connecticut

Today Ned Lamont released his business plan for Connecticut, which you can read in full here. It has only been out for about 15 minutes, so I haven’t had a chance to read it in full, but the bullet points indicate a very promising plan. Below are the ones I’m most excited about:

I will stop ineffective tax giveaways and instead make strategic investments, ensuring we provide more early-stage financing to promising firms and support industries where we already have the wind at our backs, like biotech and precision manufacturing.

I will modernize our transportation infrastructure, investing in our most congested areas, competing effectively for federal dollars, strengthening passenger and freight rail, and creating thousands of good jobs in the process.

I will invest in our people, improving our schools with innovative reforms, ensuring our kids graduate college with in-demand skills and well paying jobs, and offering full loan repayment for students at state colleges who stay in state after graduation.

Tax incentives are important for business development, but they are not the only factor considered by businesses. If tax breaks are all we are offering to get businesses into Connecticut, it shows a lack of imagination on our part. It also creates a “race-to-the-bottom” between states, and as soon as another state undercuts us, we have to give the business a bigger break to keep them here, or kiss them goodbye. The fact that Ned Lamont acknowledges the ineffectiveness of tax giveaways as a business development strategy is a good thing. It’s not sustainable in the long term, and it does little for the people and businesses who are already here in Connecticut.

Modernizing the transportation infrastructure is probably on every gubernatorial candidate’s list, although the issue is especially salient for Ned in light of the traffic that made him late for the debate. Even though it’s not particularly novel, it’s still a good idea. Improving the transportation infrastructure in the state will make our small state smaller, in a good way. Who loves commuting between Hartford and New Haven (or vice versa) by car? Not me. The easier it is to get from A to B in Connecticut, the better off we’ll all be, so I”m glad to see this included in Ned’s plan.

Investing in the people of Connecticut. I love this one, because I feel that we are our state’s greatest resource. Make it easier and cheaper for people to get an education in Connecticut, and provide them the right incentives to stay, and we’ll attract more jobs to the state. Just as good people will go to where the good jobs are, good jobs will come to where the good people are. We’ve got first rate higher education in Connecticut (in spite of Governor Rell’s attempts to kill it), and the only way to stop (and reverse) the brain drain is to give people a powerful incentive to stay. There’s already a blueprint for this, in the form of State Rep. Tim O’Brien’s Tuition Bill from ’08, and with Ned Lamont in the Governor’s office, I’m hopeful that it will get passed.

Update: Christine Stuart reports on Ned’s Hartford event at CT News Junkie (emphasis added):

“We spend $580 million per year on 102 initiatives administered by 24 separate agencies,” Lamont wrote in his Business Plan for Connecticut. “Our corporation tax credits exceed $300 million annually, 100 times what they were 20 years ago, yet we haven’t created a single net new job in those 20 years.

“We don’t treat small and mid-size businesses very well,” Lamont said. “It’s not all about tax incentives, it’s about having a governor whose a partner.”

1 Response to “Ned Lamont’s Business Plan for Connecticut”

  1. adamgn

    OMG you’re back! I’m happy. 🙂 Also, great post.