In his final State of the State Address on Wednesday morning, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy said he hopes for the creation of a “fairer, more equitable and just state for Connecticut residents”
Having already laid out his legislative plans for the state earlier in the week, Malloy restated the legislative victories he’s achieved in his two terms as governor and laid out his vision of a “fair Connecticut.”
“On Monday I put forward a proposal to keep our budget in balance this fiscal year and next. And last week, I issued a detailed plan to shore up our Special Transportation Fund,” Malloy said. “But for this day, with this opportunity, and with this honor to address you once again, I’d like to do something different. I’d like to begin the 2018 legislative session by focusing our attention on just one thing… fairness.”
Mentioning Connecticut advocates such as abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, activist Prudence Crandall and suffragette Frances Ellen Burr, Malloy cited Connecticut’s history of equality in order to pivot to his plan of “fighting discrimination wherever we see it.”
“Simply put, Connecticut Fairness means we take care of one another – especially our most vulnerable,” Malloy said. “We reach out to one another across our great cities and towns, across our neighborhood streets, and across the aisle here in state government.”
Malloy said that many of the policies he has enacted over his past two terms have fought towards the goal of that “Fair Connecticut,” including raising the minimum wage to $10.10, prohibiting anyone with a restraining order from possessing a firearm, passing the Connecticut DREAM ACT, welcoming refugees and protecting the gender identities of all.
Malloy said that he hopes this view of Connecticut will help guide assembly members in the upcoming session to enact policies that will carry on the legacy of his vision.
“This year, I urge you to consider Connecticut’s rich tradition of fairness in the context of a national and global landscape,” Malloy said. “We won’t be able to solve every problem or right every wrong, but together we can send a signal to the rest of the nation – and indeed the rest of the world, that Connecticut leaders will always recognize injustice and inequity, and that we will meet it head on with compassion, with love, and with fairness.”
Not everyone agreed with the speech, however. Former U.S. Comptroller General and Republican candidate for governor, Dave Walker, said the topics Malloy brought up in the are not everyone’s priority in Connecticut.
“For seven years Dan Malloy has raised taxes and increased regulation while jobs and businesses have left the state and the state’s deficit has skyrocketed,” Walker said. “We need a bold and credible plan to balance the budget, lower taxes, create jobs and make our economy boom.”
Malloy did not address Monday’s budget or its tax increases in his address, but rather focused on social change that he said must occur in the state.
“We can hold fast to our common humanity; We can strive to be evermore inclusive, and evermore compassionate,” Malloy said. “We can stop the tides of prejudice and hate from washing away our progress and drowning our ideals. Our fight to build a more just and more equitable society can never be deterred.”
Andrew Miano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.