Connecticut legislators on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that will provide up to $75 million in tax incentives to Sikorsky under an agreement Gov. Ned Lamont has said will keep the helicopter maker’s headquarters in the state for the next two decades.
Lockheed Martin, the parent company of Sikorsky, is bidding on federal contracts for several new helicopter lines, including a replacement for the Black Hawk. The total amount of the state incentives will depend on how much work Sikorsky secures for its facility in Stratford, according to the governor’s office, which announced the deal last month.
The emergency bipartisan bill easily cleared both the state House of Representatives and Senate on Wednesday. It now heads to Lamont’s desk.
Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly, whose district includes Stratford, called the agreement a “smart deal” that will benefit the local and state economies while keeping the nation safe.
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“It’s important to the fabric of our community. It’s important to the families that work there and it’s important to the lives that it saves,” said Kelly. The agreement, he said, is estimated to inject $5 billion in tax revenue into the Connecticut economy. He noted that 71 of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns have entities that do business with Sikorsky.
The proposed 20-year agreement calls for Lockheed Martin to do production work on new helicopter lines in Connecticut if it wins the federal contracts. The company must also employ at least 7,000 people in Connecticut.
Sikorsky has facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport, Shelton, North Haven, and Trumbull, and has 242 suppliers throughout Connecticut, according to the governor’s office.