While an exploding stock market and a COVID-driven exodus of New Yorkers flocking to Connecticut has helped to create a budget surplus for the state this year, many of our small businesses have not fared so well during COVID. In particular, restaurants and small retailers have struggled. They are just beginning to dig out from the pain of the shutdown only to find themselves short-handed and in need of employees.
The governor has a plan to address this and $10 million of that plan is dedicated to a new way to get our people back to work — it's called a bribe. A $1,000 bribe to be exact. We've all heard of signing bonuses offered by private-sector employers to recruit and retain skilled workers, but a signing bonus from your state government? That doesn't seem right to me, especially when so many people have made the decision to go back to work on their own now that infection rates are down and vaccines are widely available to the public.