When the 2011 session of the Connecticut General Assembly came to a conclusion at the end of June, Gov. Dannel Malloy had succeeded in his biggest challenge—getting a state budget that righted the fiscal ship of the state. He wouldn’t have been blamed if he just sort of breezed through the summer with some vacation time and some of the more mundane duties of the office. Not a chance. He immediately embarked on a mission to create jobs. Today he will make his jobs bill pitch to what could be a tough audience—CEOs, Chief Marketing Officers and other business leaders from the area representing financial services, consumer products, real estate and business/professional services to attend the meeting, as the governor’s press release describes. The Business Council of Fairfield County is hosting the event.
Malloy started with a “jobs tour” that took him to more than 70 business and other sites all across the state. He added a number of events at the Connecticut Convention Center that focused on jobs and economic development. Taking that input, he and Democratic legislative leaders crafted a jobs bill that will provide help for small business and scheduled to be taken up at the special session of the General Assembly on the 26th of this month. The minority Republicans signed on, making it a bipartisan bill (which basically means no one gets hurt; nobody’s ox gets gored).
There is no agreement on the biggest bill that Malloy wants taken up—the $1.1 billion Jackson Labs project that includes $291 million kicked on by the state. Republican are doing all they can to obfuscate and derail any Malloy victory in the area of job creation. They see it as their area of cognizance.
GOP leadership enlisted well-respected and Yale-educated state Sen. Len Fassano (R-East Haven) to seek internal documents about the deal between Jackson and the state. Malloy and Jackson officials say the internal documents contain trade secrets and can’t, by law, be disclosed. Further, the administration says past governors including Jodi Rell and John Rowland never disclosed such information when they had deals with the private sector.
“Everybody understands the term ‘trade secrets’ – meaning they are pieces of information that you don’t want your competitors to know about,” Malloy chief spokesman Roy Occhiogrosso told the Hartford Courant. “The law says we can’t release the document. What he asked for, he can’t get by law.”
Democrats want the special session to be two bills, done in one day. But expect Republicans to agree on the jobs bill but pound away at the Jackson proposal. It could be a very long day on the 26th indeed.