Gov. Malloy speaks to East Hartford Chamber of Commerce
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Mon., Mar. 7, 2011
Gov. Dannell P. Malloy was the keynote speaker at the March 3 annual meeting of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce. Business and public sector leaders gathered for the informal event, which was held in the hangar at the Pratt & Whitney Museum.
Malloy, who has been conducting a “listening tour” across the state, took the opportunity to speak about his recent state budget proposal and explain his plan to deal with the challenges of state deficits, unemployment and job creation.
“If you understand that I can’t tax my way out, and that I can’t cut my way out, that it has to be some combination, then you understand what I am trying to do with this budget,” Malloy said.
The gathering of business leaders applauded when Malloy said that the state will not spend more this fiscal year than it did last year, and he pledged, “I will not borrow money to cover regular operating expenses.”
Malloy added that in this first round of budget negotiations, a third of state agencies were being cut and consolidated. “We have cut the number of state agencies that we were separately funding by a third and created three new agencies... We have asked our employee base to come to the table to and negotiate a settlement that will save a million dollars a year,” he said.
Large employers like Pratt & Whitney support the goals of his budget plan, Malloy said, “because for the first time, we are putting an honest budget on the floor of the House and Senate, and then standing behind it.”
“What this budget is designed to do is send a very clear message that we are serious about coming to grips with our problems,” Malloy added. “Job creation is the short-term and long-term goal of this budget, and… Connecticut is open for business.”
The event included opening remarks by East Hartford Chamber of Commerce President Ronald Pugliese, Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc, and David P. Hess, the president of Pratt & Whitney. Heather Summerer was introduced as the new chair of the board of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce.