OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 226

AN ACT CONCERNING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ENTITIES AND THE EB-5 IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM

SUMMARY:

This bill makes “regional centers” approved under the federal Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (P. L. 102-395) eligible for funds under any state economic development program. The pilot program is part of a large program that grants conditional permanent-resident status to immigrants who invest in U. S. businesses that create new full-time jobs. The centers, which can be public or private entities, identify investment opportunities, offer them to immigrant investors, and ensure compliance with federal law.

The bill gives the Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner or the governing boards of directors of the Connecticut Development Authority and Connecticut Innovations, Inc. discretion in awarding this state assistance. (By law, the commissioner chairs both boards. ) Under the bill, regional centers qualify for state assistance from July 1, 2012 until July 1, 2015. The authorization for the pilot program expires September 30, 2012. Currently, no centers have been formed in Connecticut.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

Regional Centers

Regional centers are public or private organizations formed to create jobs, promote economic growth, help a region's businesses operate more productively, and increase capital investments. They address these goals by helping immigrant investors identify investment opportunities. Immigrants investing in a U. S. business qualify for conditional permanent-resident status, but the job creation criteria vary depending on whether an immigrant invests directly in a business or through a regional center.

Immigrants making direct investments must invest at least $ 1 million in a business and participate daily in its management. The business must also create at least 10 new full-time jobs. The job creation criterion is less stringent for investments made through a center. An investment must still create at least 10 new jobs, but the jobs can be in the business receiving the investment or other businesses that benefit from it (i. e. , indirect jobs).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Commerce Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

3

(03/01/2012)