HARTFORD, Conn. — Democratic leaders of the Connecticut House of Representatives predicted Monday there’s support among state lawmakers for a $220 million agreement that would commit Sikorsky Aircraft to keeping its headquarters in the state.
The House leaders represent the majority party in the General Assembly. They reviewed the deal privately on Monday with rank-and-file lawmakers.
“I think there’s genuine support for the package that was presented,” said House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, adding how the lawmakers felt it protects both jobs and the state’s interests.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration reached the agreement with Sikorsky. Malloy has called the legislature back to the state Capitol for a special session Wednesday for a vote. Union members also need to approve the deal, which provides state grants and tax exemptions over 14 years.
In return, Sikorsky will build nearly 200 CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters in Connecticut and nearly double its spending with in-state suppliers.
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said she and some of her fellow House Republicans will vote for the agreement. However, she said they feel “backed into a corner,” given the possibility Sikorsky might move the work to another state.
“Why do we have to continuously go from business to business to give them some deal to make them stay,” she asked. “Isn’t the goal of what we’re doing as public official is to make this state a place where they want to be?”
Sikorsky is a subsidiary of Maryland-based Lockheed Martin.