Since it began in 2011 Gov. Dannel Malloy’s controversial First Five program has awarded $381.6 million in grants and tax credits to major Connecticut companies and it has done so with virtually no public oversight. But that might change if a bill backed by state Comptroller Kevin Lembo is able to jump the legislative hurdles and get Malloy’s signature.
In the face of declining tax revenues and weak job reports, state lawmakers have to decide whether or not to continue to fund Governor Malloy's controversial First Five Plus program, which is scheduled to end this year. To fund the program, the state borrows money, which it then hands out to major corporations through grants, low interest loans and tax subsidies in order to create jobs. Commissioner Catherine Smith of the Department of Economic and Community Development testified before the Commerce Committee on March 15 that the program should continue for another three years.