Malloy stresses long-term Connecticut goals in N.Y. speech
Gov. in New York: Malloy stresses long-term Connecticut goals at Waldorf Astoria
Published 12:50 pm, Saturday, April 16, 2011
NEW YORK -- Planners, politicians and business leaders nationwide need to fight government spending cuts that will diminish the United States' stature and economic competitiveness, while also highlighting transportation infrastructure and education investments as top priorities despite debt crises.
"There are tremendous challenges playing themselves out in politics and in ideologically driven, bad public policy," Malloy said. "People trying to use this difficult moment to reverse the kinds of progress that can and should be made is a tremendous mistake."
The governor said his 2011-12 budget improves Connecticut's financial picture.
The budget, which calls for $1 billion in bonding for transportation investments over that two-year period to modernize and improve rail lines, airports and harbors for long-term economic benefit.
"We need a larger investment in infrastructure to provide the roads, bridges, subway systems and electrical systems we'll clearly need in 10, 15, and 20 years from now," Malloy said. "People need to raise their voices state by state that we make the investments we have to."
Cuts to government spending and worker layoffs will also spur a corresponding round of new job losses in the private sector, he said.
"Although we face the largest per-capita deficit of any of the 50 states of the nation, we're going in a different direction in a budget I submitted to the Legislature," Malloy said. "We have to be careful we avoid cutting back so severely on our expenditures to contribute to the slowdown of the recovery."
David Kooris, vice president of the Regional Plan Association, said he believes Malloy's budget strategies, particularly making a greater commitment to transportation and protecting education funding, are well considered.
By placing an emphasis on a paying a higher proportion of state transportation project costs, including more than $400 million toward high-speed rail efforts, Kooris said Malloy is making it more likely Connecticut will maintain a larger share of what is expected to be a smaller pool of federal transit funding.
State and local leaders are waiting for Congress to craft and approve the next Surface Transportation Authorization Act, a comprehensive federal bill providing hundreds of billions of dollars for transit and road projects nationwide.
Malloy said he feels a moral obligation to face political turbulence and unpopularity to make decisions he believes are for the long-term benefit of Connecticut's residents.
"I ask you to never waver, never give or stop, never consider the expense of an item too great if it holds back the growth of this nation for a generation," Malloy said. "If we do this, we'll win and secure the future."