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Connecticut Public Acts 1996

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Senate Bill No. 470

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-264

AN ACT CONCERNING THE "ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT OF 1996".

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Economic Recovery Act of 1996".

Sec. 2. Section 32-450 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 95-250, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

As used in sections 32-450 to 32-457, inclusive AS AMENDED: (1) "Awarding authority" means the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, the board of directors of the Connecticut Development Authority, and the board of directors of Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated. (2) "Economic development financial assistance" means any grant, loan or loan guarantee, or combination thereof, provided to a business for the purpose of economic development. (3) "Employee representatives" means representatives of any certified or recognized bargaining agents for employees of a business. (4) "Threshold project" means (A) a project for which a [request for economic development financial assistance is submitted by a] business [, which is] operating in the state [at the time of such request and has] AND HAVING twenty-five or more full-time employees in the state [,] SUBMITS A REQUEST to an awarding authority for economic development financial assistance IN THE FORM OF (i) A GRANT in the amount of two hundred fifty thousand dollars or more OR (ii) A COMBINATION OF A GRANT AND A LOAN OR LOAN GUARANTEE, TOTALING TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS OR MORE, OR (B) A PROJECT FOR WHICH A BUSINESS OPERATING IN THE STATE AND HAVING ONE HUNDRED OR MORE FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES IN THE STATE SUBMITS A REQUEST TO AN AWARDING AUTHORITY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IN THE FORM OF (i) A LOAN OR A LOAN GUARANTEE, IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS OR MORE, OR (ii) A COMBINATION OF A LOAN AND A LOAN GUARANTEE, TOTALING ONE MILLION DOLLARS OR MORE.

Sec. 3. Section 32-229 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 32-5a, AS AMENDED the commissioner may establish a time period during which a manufacturing or economic base business receiving financial assistance BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION in connection with a municipal or business development project under sections 32-220 to 32-234, inclusive, AS AMENDED shall not relocate outside of the state. Such time period shall be more than three years. The commissioner may take such action as he deems necessary or appropriate to enforce such obligation including establishment of terms and conditions for repayment of any financial assistance given under section 32-223. THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 32-5a, AS AMENDED, SHALL APPLY TO ANY SUCH FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE GIVEN ON OR AFTER SAID DATE UNDER SECTION 32-223.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (a) As used in this section: (1) "Eligible business" means a business which (A) has not more than three hundred employees at any time during the preceding twelve months and (B) is engaged in biotechnology, pharmaceutical or photonics research, development or production in the state; and (2) "Eligible commercial property" means (A) real or personal property which an eligible business has (i) owned or leased and (ii) utilized at all times during the preceding twelve months or (B) real property which the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development or Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated has certified as newly constructed or substantially renovated and expanded primarily for occupancy by one or more eligible businesses.

(b) On and after July 1, 1997, eligible businesses and eligible commercial property located in any municipality which has (1) a major research university with programs in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals or photonics and (2) an enterprise zone, shall be entitled to the same benefits, subject to the same conditions, under the general statutes for which businesses located in an enterprise zone qualify.

(c) Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated may provide lease guarantees or other financial aid for facilities, improvements and equipment, to benefit any eligible business which is unable to secure financing for such items on commercially reasonable terms.

(d) Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated may recommend regulations to carry out the purposes of this section, which the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall adopt in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes.

Sec. 5. Section 32-40 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 95-250, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) All applications for financial aid shall be forwarded, together with an application fee prescribed by the corporation, to the executive director of the corporation. [The executive director, after preparing necessary records for the corporation, shall forward each application to the staff of the corporation and, in appropriate cases, to the technical peer review committee, for an investigation and report concerning the advisability of approving the proposed financial aid for the person or company that submitted the application and concerning any other factors deemed relevant by the corporation. Such investigation and report shall include, but shall not be limited to, such facts about the applicant under consideration as its history, wage standards, job opportunities, stability of employment, the extent of its dependency on defense contracts, past and present financial condition and structure, pro-forma income statements, present and future markets and prospects, integrity of management as well as the feasibility of the proposed research and development activity, technology, product and invention to be granted financial aid, including the state of development of such product as well as the likelihood of its commercial feasibility. After receipt and consideration of the above report and after such other action as is deemed appropriate, the] EACH SUCH APPLICATION SHALL BE PROCESSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WRITTEN PROCEDURES ADOPTED BY THE CORPORATION UNDER SUBDIVISION (5) OF SUBSECTION (d) OF SECTION 32-35. THE finance committee of the corporation shall approve or deny [the] EACH application RECOMMENDED BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR [and if the application is approved, may] IF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE APPROVES AN APPLICATION, SUCH COMMITTEE MAY AUTHORIZE THE CORPORATION TO enter into an agreement or agreements on behalf of the corporation to provide financial aid to the applicant. The applicant shall be promptly notified of such action by the corporation.

(b) In making the decision as to approval or denial of an application, the finance committee of the corporation shall give priority to those applicants (1) whose businesses are defense-dependent, or are located in municipalities which the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development has declared have been severely impacted by prime defense contract cutbacks pursuant to section 32-56, and (2) whose proposed research and development activity, technology, product or invention is to be used to convert all or a portion of the applicant's business to non-defense-related industrial or commercial activity, or to create a new non-defense-related industrial or commercial business. For purposes of this section, a defense-dependent business is any business that derives over fifty per cent of its gross income, generated from operations within the state, from prime defense contracts or from subcontracts entered into in connection with prime defense contracts, a significant portion of whose facilities and equipment are designed specifically for defense production and cannot be converted to nondefense uses without substantial investment.

(c) All financial and credit information and all trade secrets contained in any application for financial aid submitted to the corporation or obtained by the corporation concerning any applicant, project, activity, technology, product or invention shall be exempt from the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1-19.

Sec. 6. Subsection (k) of section 32-285 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 95-250, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(k) No commitments for new projects shall be approved by the authority under this section on or after July 1, [1996] 1998.

Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of public act 95-288 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) As used in this section "critical industry" means an industry that uses emerging technologies INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY to develop and manufacture nondefense products for future sale, has the potential to create or retain jobs in the state and is critical to the state economy.

Sec. 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 1996.

Approved June 10, 1996. Effective July 1, 1996.

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