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News from State Senator Bob Duff

Winter 2011

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 2400
Hartford, CT 06106-1591


On the Web

Capitol: 860-240-0414
Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420
Home: 203-840-1333

Jobs Legislation Highlights

JobsDuring our October special legislative session on jobs, we passed a very comprehensive jobs bill that seeks to jump-start Connecticut’s economy with a variety of business loans, tax credits for job creation, regulatory relief and a host of other incentives.

Among them:

  • Cutting the business entity tax in half by reducing the annual $250 fee to a single biennial payment
  • Providing funds for small businesses to expand, since some banks aren’t lending
  • Creating of the STEP UP program, a subsidized training and employment program where employers are paid to hire and train workers from certain areas who are unemployed for over six months.
  • Expanding the “First Five” program to include 5 additional companies this year focusing on bringing new jobs to Connecticut.
  • Lowering the investment threshold (from $100,000 to $25,000 investment) for the Angel Investor Tax Credit.
  • Developing and enhancing educational offerings to match employer needs, with a focus on manufacturing.

Questionable Water Rate Hikes

When the South Norwalk Electric and Water announced it was hiking water rates by 25 percent, I received a lot of concerned phone calls.

Just seven people voted for this rate increase in September, and by mid-October thousands and thousands of residents got a shock in their water bills. There is no recourse anywhere, and there has got to be a better way.

I plan on introducing legislation early next year that will require any municipal water provider that seeks a 10 percent rate increase or more to go before the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (formerly the DPUC) for a public hearing and decision.

That Authority would then be able to approve, reject or modify any application for an increase based on its analysis and feedback from the public.

In the meantime, I encourage everyone served by SNEW to do whatever they can to reduce water use.

Waypointe Moving Forward

The State Bond Commission has approved $5 million for public improvements associated with the Waypointe mixed-use development proposed for the West Avenue Corridor area.

Under the name ‘Norwalk Town Center,’ the plan calls for constructing 325 apartments, 33,654 square feet of retail, 11,550 square feet of restaurant space and a 626-space parking garage in the area bounded by West Avenue, Merwin and Orchard streets.

The Waypointe development has necessarily evolved over the years due in part to the global recession, but they have stuck with it and are ready to move ahead with some assistance from the state.

The most important thing is that Norwalk continues to be a place that is attracting vibrant, creative development that provides jobs and spurs regional economic growth—and that’s a good investment.

Star House
There were a lot of smiling faces during the ribbon cutting with Senator Duff, residents and staff at the newest STAR group home in Norwalk. (October 15, 2011)



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