Early next year, Governor Dannel Malloy will present a new budget to the General Assembly. Two years removed from the largest tax increase in the state's history, the governor has different plans this time around.
"I don't know what's going to come out of Washington," he told more than 400 business leaders yesterday at CBIA' s annual meeting, "but I have no intentions of raising taxes.
"We need to learn to live within our means. We need to become more efficient. It's not easy leaning state government, but we're doing it; we're improving and showing that government can be better."
Last night marked the second time this week the governor [pictured above with CBIA board chair Tom Santa and ConnectiCare's Michael Wise] shared his budget philosophy, having told municipal leaders Tuesday that tax hikes were not in his plans.
"My goal is to make Connecticut more competitive," he told business leaders at Hartford's Marriott Hotel. "You might not always agree with my approach. We did raise revenues [in 2011]. We did cut spending in the budget.
"What we did on the [state] employee side was really quite remarkable. The employees were focused on the short term. I was focused on the long term."
The governor said his administration's 2011 negotiations with state employee unions yielded $21.5 billion in long-term savings, while addressing the state's obligations for funding employee pensions and benefits.
"Not a job creator"
The administration's focus during the last budget cycle, he said, was on "getting our own fiscal house in order," while making government more efficient.
"It's not easy. It's not pretty," the governor said. "But we have to approach the business of government the same way that you approach running your businesses.
"I'm not a job creator. You're the job creators. Government needs to get off your backs and get to yes or no in a reasonable period of time -- not the time that government expects, but the time business expects.
"My mantra is get to yes or get to no, but get there."
Supporting education reforms</p>
And he urged the business community to continue its support of education reforms and workforce development initiatives.
"You need to get directly involved in building a relationship with students so they can understand what it is you do," he said.
"These kids are just looking for experience and unfortunately, we as a society have become more decoupled from the needs of our students.
"We have to understand that we have a collective responsibility to get young people engaged."