By Dave Conrad, CBIA writer/editor.
Connecticut’s new CEO told nearly 600 business leaders in Hartford this week that in solving the state’s economic problems, “There is no cavalry … except us.”
Governor Dannel Malloy said at the 2011 Economic Summit & Outlook, sponsored by CBIA and the MetroHartford Alliance, that the state is facing a crisis situation of a budget deficit of from $3.5 billion to $3.7 billion and “no real hope of any other substantial help,” such as federal funds or the state’s depleted Rainy Day Fund.
“We cannot cut our way out of this deficit … and we cannot tax our way out of either.” That’s why growing the economy and reigniting job creation has to be a big part of the solution, he said.
“Today we have to begin a new relationship … between the companies who employ so many of our citizens, and state government,” said Gov. Malloy. “We need to be clear and plain spoken about our goals … and you need to be able to count on us. We may sometimes have to put things aside for a few years.”
“As of today, the governor’s office is open for business and Connecticut is open for business.”
[Watch video of Gov. Malloy’s speech at today’s Economic Summit.]
He said he will focus on making Connecticut more business friendly, restoring fiscal responsibility, and reinvesting in Connecticut’s infrastructures, from education to transportation. Gov. Malloy pledged that the budget he proposes to the legislature in February will be “without budget gimmicks. We have to get to the point where the state stands on its own two feet.”
Gov. Malloy also intends to improve the state’s education and higher education systems and especially wants to make Connecticut’s colleges and universities “more agile” so that they can take a larger role in economic development.
He specifically asked business leaders to let his administration know what regulatory policies are hampering their efforts to grow the economy. “I believe in appropriate regulation,” said Gov. Malloy, “but regulation without impeding business.”
Consistently all week, Gov. Malloy emphasized the importance of growing Connecticut’s economy. At his inauguration, Malloy said that although we face a crossroads of crisis and opportunity in the state, our “best days are ahead” if “we reach deep and rally hard.”
Fueling the state’s crisis, he said, is “an unfriendly employer environment, a lack of educational resources, a deteriorating transportation system, and an enormous budget crisis of historic proportions. All coddled by a habit of political sugarcoating that has passed our problems onto the next generation.”
Introducing the governor, Ramona Carlow, vice president of public policy and strategy for AT&T, and chair of CBIA’s Board of Directors, said “as business leaders and employers, we we look forward to working with Governor Malloy to make Connecticut a leader once again in economic growth, job creation and opportunity for all the people of the state.”
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