February 9, 2006 – A proposal by State of Connecticut officials to rewrite a law designed to protect high-tech jobs in the Nutmeg State drew a strong rebuke from IAM representatives.
“Why is a state agency – the Office of Consumer Counsel – taking it on itself to challenge a law that helps preserve and create Connecticut jobs?” asked Grand Lodge Representative William Rudis in testimony before the Connecticut Department of Public Utility.
“What authority do they have to question the constitutionality of a law passed by elected members of the General Assembly, and signed into law by the top elected official in our state?”
The IAM is calling on Connecticut’s Office of Consumer Counsel to withdraw their opposition to legislation passed in 2005 that provides special incentives for construction of fuel cell projects in Connecticut, “…provided those fuel cells are primarily manufactured in the State of Connecticut.” The IAM represents thousands of manufacturing workers in Connecticut, including the hourly workers at UT Fuel Cells in South Windsor, Connecticut.
“It’s especially disheartening to have a state agency holding themselves above our elected representatives, and threatening to bring suit over legislation that helps create jobs,” said John Harrity, Director of GrowJobsCT.
Connecticut is currently ranked dead last in the nation in job growth. Polls show the loss of jobs in Connecticut is the number one issue concerning residents today. Young people, especially those with advanced education, are leaving the state at a higher rate than any other state but Alaska.