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Massachusetts steps up for Puerto Rico, the White House convenes its first hunger conference in more than 50 years, and hydroponics could be the future of tomatoes in California.

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Jobs Bill Moves Ahead in General Assembly

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Monday, April 2, 2012   

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A bill in the Connecticut General Assembly would address the problem of state tax credits going to some businesses that don't pay workers a living wage.

A recent report from Good Jobs First says the state needs more transparency in doling out tax credits to businesses, because some of them underpay their workers to the point that the employees must rely on public programs like food stamps.

Wade Gibson, senior policy advisor with Connecticut Voices for Children, explains.

"When our economic-development agencies report the results of the subsidies that we have, whether they're loans or grants or actual tax credits, we don't report at the company level what the jobs pay."

While some companies provide good pay and benefits, others don't. Senate Bill 181 would require businesses receiving financial assistance from the state to pay the standard wage to certain employees and require the business's contractors to pay their employees the prevailing wage, which would provide a Connecticut family a middle-class income.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association opposes the bill, saying it would slow job growth and hurt the state's business climate.

However, Gibson says the way subsidies are awarded must be improved and made more responsive to current economic priorities.

"If you're a company and you get legislators to write a tax credit into the code - or an exemption or deduction or whichever - and you get that forever, it's now part of the tax law."

Critics of the current system are calling for all business subsidies to be disclosed online to the public, including numbers of jobs created, with pay and benefits.

SB 181 is at 1.usa.gov/HtYz48.




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