Senator Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) made a surprise to speak with with a group from the Madison Senior Center, who had come to Hartford today to tour the State Capitol building. Meyer spoke with the seniors about his support of aging in place legislation during the 2013 legislative session, as well as his efforts to create jobs, improve Connecticut’s economy, and protect the natural environment in Madison and across the state.
“I was glad to have this opportunity to speak with my constituents about the work we do in the General Assembly, and my efforts to improve our economy and way of life,” said Senator Meyer. “We spoke about the status of the American economy, and what is being done in the General Assembly to create new jobs for Connecticut residents. Madison is home to one of Connecticut’s greatest natural treasures, the Hammonasset State Park, and so I discussed the work I do as Co-Chair of the Environment Committee to support our state park system and preserve Connecticut’s natural beauty.”
Two of Connecticut’s most successful job creation programs are Step Up and Small Business Express, which were both passed by the General Assembly with Senator Meyer’s support. The Step Up program provides employers with two types of incentives to hire unemployed persons. The program offers a wage subsidy, which helps pay a new employee’s salary for the first six months of employment, and a grant which can be used to train a new employee in necessary skills. As of this August, the Step Up program has helped create 1,822 jobs in Connecticut, including 17 jobs in the communities Senator Meyer represents.
The highly successful Small Business Express program provides small business owners with grants and loans they can use to improve their companies and create jobs. This program has been embraced by 847 businesses across the state, creating 3,022 jobs and helping to retain over 8,500 others. In Madison, Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, and North Branford, the Small Business Express Program has helped create 112 jobs and allowed for the retention of 373 others.
Senator Meyer also spoke with the seniors about his work on the Environment Committee to protect Connecticut’s natural environment and support the state park system. Senator Meyer has been a strong advocate for Hammonasset State Park in Madison, supporting efforts to improve accessibility and preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations. A 2011 study conducted at UConn shows that Connecticut’s parks make an annual contribution of over 9,000 private sector jobs and $1 billion to the economy. According to this study, every $1 spent on state parks returns $38 to Connecticut’s economy.