Friday, August 13, 2010

The Foley and Malloy Prospectus Compared Part 1 – Jobs and the Economy

This is the first in a series of blog posting regarding the plans of the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor, Tom Foley and Dan Malloy. All of the information provided in the posting is from the candidate’s web sites, and clicking on the “Issues” and “Tom’s Plan” selections. The opinions are my own and not cleared with either candidate’s staff. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a supporter of Dan Malloy and worked as a volunteer on his 2006 campaign as well as the current 2010 campaign.

I will begin with some general observations about the plans that the candidates have posted on their web sites. If less is more, then Foley wins hands down. His plan turns out to be seven pages in my word document. The Malloy plan is a whopping forty eight pages with great detail. I guess that is fitting since most Republicans believe less government is better, obviously a short plan will lead to less government. From the Democratic perspective, government is good and Malloy shows just how he plans to shape and change much of the state government in great detail.

Of course, there is no guarantee that either of the candidate’s will do what they lay out on their web site when actually in office, but like a stock prospectus, it is an indication of the plan and direction each candidate will pursue once in office.

I am leaving out much of the explanatory text in the plans and just noting the planned action items. Both plans are written in the first person, so I will keep that same format as I quote or paraphrase from each plan. The reader will have to remember that the occasional “I” is either “Governor” Foley or “Governor” Malloy.

Leading off in both plans is Jobs and the Economy so that is a good place to start the comparison.

“Governor” Tom Foley

1. As Governor, I will focus on attracting new businesses with highly skilled, high paying jobs to Connecticut:
I will have the Governor’s office and our state development agencies focus on the seven industries already identified as having high potential for Connecticut. The industries include:
Healthcare Services
Highly Engineered Manufacturing
Financial Services
Medical Devices
Alternative Energy Research and Development and Manufacturing
2. I will immediately take action to make Connecticut more ‘Employer Friendly’:
I will review and work to repeal excessive state mandates, regulations, and fees that make it expensive for employers to hire Connecticut workers
I will change the attitude of our government agencies to be sure they understand the importance of supporting employers and their needs
I will seek to simplify and expedite state approvals for employers seeking to locate in Connecticut or make investments here that will create new jobs
3. I will immediately provide a package of incentives to lenders for extending more credit and capital to small and start-up businesses
4. I will work to develop and market the ‘Knowledge Corridor’ from Enfield to New Haven as a unique national asset combining our well-educated and highly skilled workforce with some of the best academic institutions and infrastructure in the nation
5. I will immediately convene the heads of CDA, DECD, and Connecticut Innovations and order them to prepare a comprehensive plan for bringing businesses to Connecticut including a means for obtaining more coordination and cooperation between them
6. I will order the Commissioner of Transportation and the Transportation Strategy Board to ensure that the needs of employers are incorporated into the state’s transportation master plan

“Governor” Dan Malloy
As your Governor, I will implement a comprehensive road map for economic security that focuses on the following twelve goals:
Listen and Lead.
My administration will engage local officials and business leaders in decisions that will make their communities stronger, and their local economies more competitive.

Use Incentives that Work
Connecticut currently grants in excess of $1.9 billion a year in economic incentives to businesses of all shapes and sizes. My Administration will do a comprehensive review of these incentives; if it can be shown that the incentive has been effective in creating and/or retaining jobs, it should probably stay on the books. If the incentive hasn't worked, or if it's outlived its usefulness, then the incentive should be recast in ways that do work, or they should be terminated because they don't.

Be Bold. Think outside the box. Drive Job Creation
Create a new fund using close to a billion dollars in unused research & development tax credits to leverage new research and advanced manufacturing space, and encourage the participation of state and municipal pension funds to augment the initial investment.
Expand state investment in stem cell research and other cutting edge bio-medical fields.
Aggressively develop the state's three deep water ports, reducing Connecticut's brutal and expensive dependence on trucks.
Expand on the Bradley Development Zone to bring a European connection to Bradley.
Make additional investments in the research capabilities at John Dempsey Hospital in order to allow that campus to compete more effectively for important clinical trials, research, and experimentation.

Improve Connecticut's Business Climate
Two areas need our immediate focus: Energy costs and Health Care costs. If we can lower those costs by 10% or more, we'll immediately make Connecticut significantly more business friendly, and a favored destination for the entrepreneurs and small business owners that are the greatest job creators in America.
Reducing Energy Costs: As Governor, I'll lead a statewide effort to promote efficiency, lower consumption, re-focus state investments to target renewable energy, and drive down electricity prices so that our businesses have will have the breathing room they need to grow and thrive
Reducing Health Care Costs: I would support pooling as Governor and look forward to drawing on the experience of my running mate, Nancy Wyman, who spearheaded the effort to extend state prescription drug coverage to municipal contracts.
A Balanced Approach: To be clear, making Connecticut more business friendly does not mean making it less worker friendly I support a smart mandatory paid sick days policy; studies have shown that implemented in the right fashion, this produces a healthier, more efficient, more effective workforce, and actually saves money.
In addition, we need to do a better job of helping maturing businesses to succeed As Governor, I can't guarantee a company's success, but I will commit to reforming and simplifying our regulatory system to make success more likely. In these lean times, we cannot afford to provide funding to every company that needs it, but my administration will provide assistance to companies that seek to invest in their future and help make navigating investment options more fruitful.

Succeed in Recruiting Businesses
My administration will identify companies that have great potential to grow in Connecticut, target them for recruitment, and welcome them to our state.

As Governor, I will ensure that recruitment is about community and commitment. My administration will establish recruiting teams comprised of the local chief elected official, local economic development specialists, and other key people such as local and regional representatives from business groups such as local Chambers of Commerce and other "builders" of communities, such as educational leaders, community non-profits, foundations, and Arts and Culture organizations.

My administration will invigorate recruitment by including on these teams a representative from the Governor's office and key individuals from state agencies related to a company's industry. And, as Governor, I will be a hands-on partner in the process.

Compete and Win in the High Tech, New Energy Economy
My administration will deliver programs that support entrepreneurs and start-up businesses that grow jobs in technology and research. It will also continue to support home-grown alternative energy and new technologies that help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Keep and enhance Connecticut's own Clean Energy Fund that provides investment opportunities for manufacturing of clean energy components like the photovoltaic cells used in solar energy.

My administration will direct resources toward technologies where Connecticut has a competitive advantage and greater potential for growing and keeping high-skilled jobs and attract and grow cutting-edge companies in three ways:

First, my administration will aggressively identify and recruit cutting edge companies from around the country and beyond.
Second, if a company can qualify under the strict federal and Clean Energy guidelines, my administration will kick-start their success by providing access to a low-interest revolving loan that will not cost Connecticut taxpayers a dime
Third, My administration will also provide companies qualifying for Clean Energy incentives with a team of ambassadors to expedite their opening. Teams will help link companies to local, state, and federal fiscal resources…. Our teams of ambassadors will also provide expertise and legal assistance tailored to the specific needs of these cutting edge companies

Redouble Efforts to Revitalize Manufacturing
As Governor, my administration will extend the same Ambassador service advantages we plan to make available to Clean Energy companies to cutting-edge manufacturers. My administration would also expand key programs, like CONNSTEP and CCAT, that assist small companies in integrating advanced technologies into their production lines and make them part of our Ambassadors' portfolios.
We will ensure that small, growing manufacturing companies have access to legal, financial and regulatory expertise and assistance so that they neither balk at growth nor fail when they face the complexity of growing into a mid-size company. I will call on a growing cadre of highly talented volunteers in our state - retired senior executives and management experts-who I know want to be part of Connecticut's economic renaissance. This strategy of seeding our economic garden is not business as usual, it's an innovative approach that will allow us to grow a manufacturing base that provides for a diverse economy rich in jobs and built to compete and win.

Make a real commitment to move forward on Brownfields
As Governor, I will call for the creation of a $500 million revolving account to assist communities in paying for cleanup and restoration of brownfields, with the expectation that the state would recover all costs on that account in a reasonable time period.

Recognize and Invest in Women and Minority Owned Businesses
By making it my business to listen and learn, I know that women and minority owned businesses account for about 31% of the number of small businesses in Connecticut… As Governor, I'll re-focus the state's attention on these critical businesses, and will commit to having the State achieve its investment goals.

Improve and Enhance Infrastructure and Transportation
A Malloy administration would focus resources on projects with a big payoff, rather than on earmarked projects that can be inconsistent with a statewide economic strategic plan.
Investments in transportation projects not only provide jobs, they fuel long-term improvements in our quality of life and our ability to attract, grow and retain companies and their workers.
The Malloy administration will create a team that will represent Connecticut more effectively in our nation's capitol, and provide the help needed in our state for businesses, state agencies, non-profits, universities and indeed all those who want to compete and win in securing federal dollars to grow our economy.

Institute Benchmarks and Greater Accountability
As Governor, I will identify strategic economic benchmarks to ensure that state resources are allocated as efficiently as possible.

And, my administration would make sure that any state assistance provided for economic development is transparent and that companies receiving assistance are held accountable to the goals they promise

Focus on Workforce Development and Education
My administration will develop comprehensive strategies for enhancing education at all levels, including improving links between workforce training and our key competitive industries, retooling career ladders to keep pace with our changing economy, and ensuring access to affordable, and relevant incumbent worker training. We have to harness workforce development, education at all levels, private sector support and the philanthropic community in this effort.

Forward Thinking
Government can't fix the economy by itself, nor should it try. But what government can do is help put in place an economic development strategy that makes sense for the 21st century economy, instead of holding onto strategies that were designed for the last century.

We need to recognize and value the critical engines of job growth in our state-the small businesses, run by men and women, and drawn from a diverse group of Connecticut entrepreneurs--that deserve better from state government.

We need to understand the need for balance: that we can grow the economy and create jobs while protecting the environment, preserving what's best about Connecticut, and promoting fair policies for workers. All while running a game plan that allows us to compete and win in the high tech new energy economy.

We need to engage everyone in this effort, and provide support from state government. We need the energy and expertise of retired business leaders, or retired shop stewards, in fact anyone with experience to mentor and support the growth of Connecticut's businesses and workers.

Even more important, we need to be mindful of young people in our state - building an economy with their future in mind will guarantee the kind of economy and job opportunities we want in our state now and for generations to come.

I hope the reader does not think that I shortchanged Candidate Foley in this presentation. What you see is what is on the web site. I leave it to the reader to decide which approach they want to see in the next administration, but you have to recognize that Malloy’s plan has more detail and is more complete than the one offered by Foley.

I will compare their plans in other key areas in future postings.

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