- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Democratic leaders of the General Assembly say more money should be spent on Connecticut’s STEP-Up program, an initiative offering employers financial incentives to hire unemployed workers.

The lawmakers said Tuesday the original $20 million pot of money set aside for wage subsidies or six-monthlong training grants is now down to about $2.5 million, enough to meet funding requests through April.

The additional funding for STEP-Up is one of several highlights of the majority party’s 2014 jobs agenda, unveiled Tuesday. The new legislative session opens Feb. 5.

Democrats also called for creating a new quasi-public agency, similar to the state airport authority, to coordinate development of the state’s ports.

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney said the Democrats have made “hollow promises on jobs” before, yet haven’t created any jobs.

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