House Democrats say the state is lagging way behind other states when it comes to being eligible for millions of federal dollars. WNPR's Ray Hardman reports:
Under a federal Economic Development Administration program, states and towns that form economic development districts are eligible to apply for federal dollars. Indeed, last session, Connecticut's General Assembly approved legislation that the governor signed into law that encourages regional economic districts, making them eligible for these grants. But there's a catch. State representative Brendan Sharkey:
"They must receive a sign off from the governor, before it can be submited. They've done their planning, they've done their strategies, but in order to qualify as a district, they need the governor's signature, and the governor has refused to provide that signature."
House Majority leader Denise Merrill is calling on the Governor to reverse policy and sign on to the seven regional economic districts:
"There's nothing wrong with taking federal money, it's a good thing, these are partnership programs with the federal government, and i've never understood why the administration is so loathe to take advantage of these programs which very much will enable us not to have to cut basic assistance to people in need now more than ever"
But Jeffrey Beckham from the Office of Policy and Management says the Governor is committed to the regional economic districts, and will sign off on any federal grants. He says the Governor just hasn't received any applications yet.
For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.