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    Construction NewsBRIEFS! 3-2-2012

    Tax incremental financing programs would be expanded to include blended financing from property tax, sales tax and income tax to help finance building the infrastructure and developing projects to encourage business and institutional growth and job creation, under proposed Senate Bill 144, introduced by Sen. Majority Leader Looney (D-New Haven).

    The maximum allowable unemployment compensation trust fund balance would be increased by Senate Bill 258 filed in the Labor Committee.

    The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities would, according to a summary of the Governor’s midterm budget adjustments, be consolidated with the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities in a new Department on Human Rights, Protection and Advocacy. The restructuring is projected to save the state more than $5.7 million.

    Work sharing programs would expand under H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The bill, passed by Congress and signed into law, spends more on programs that allow workers to collect unemployment while receiving training from companies and career-counseling services, and allows self-employed workers, such as entrepreneurs, to receive jobless benefits similar to other workers. It allows states to enact legislation to (1) test benefit applicants for drugs if they lost their jobs because they failed drug tests or if they are seeking jobs that regularly require drug tests, or (2) deny benefits on the basis of the results of such a drug test. The bill is designed to start weaning some of the 3.5 million current recipients off federal jobless benefits by capping the maximum duration of benefits at 73 weeks, instead of 99, depending on a state's jobless rate. Americans out of work the longest and in the hardest-hit states would be shielded from most of the cuts.

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