Conn. Senate Democrats Eye Merger of Insurance and Banking Agencies

January 11, 2006

Senate Democratic leaders in Hartford have proposed several changes in state law they say will make Connecticut more business friendly. The proposals include merging the insurance and banking departments to “better serve to better serve the mutual needs these vital sectors and to restore Connecticut’s prominence in the financial services sector.”

In addition, the Senate Democrats have proposed eliminating a tax on manufacturing equipment as part of an overhaul of state business taxes.

“The most important challenge facing the state of Connecticut is to grow the economy and to create the jobs that protect our standard of living and quality of life,” said Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn.

Other parts of the Senate Democrats’ agenda, which they named An Act Concerning Jobs for the 21st Century, include reducing gridlock on the highways, investing more in stem cell research, and working to reduce health insurance and energy costs for businesses.

Williams said Democrats will “collaborate with leaders from business, labor and our communities to address the rising costs of health care insurance in a way that keeps us competitive.”

He said the state has already held two economic development forums and scheduled three more before the session begins.

“In talking to small business and corporate people alike, it became clear that we need to eliminate the manufacturing equipment tax and make state agencies more amenable to these sectors. This plan does exactly that,” the Democratic leader said.

The Democrats’ initiative will be Senate Bill #1 in the 2006 session of the General Assembly that begins in February.

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