"Changing How Connecticut State Government Does Business"
September 25, 2012
Thank you all for being here today.
We have a lot of information to present, so I don't want to take more than a few minutes of your time.
But I want to make sure everyone who's here, and folks who may read about or hear about what we're doing today - I want to make sure everyone understands the purpose of this report, and this presentation.
In my first budget address in February of 2011, I said the following: I'm not one of those people who dislikes government. In fact, I think government has done great things in the past, and can do great things in the future. But not in the form we found Connecticut's government in.
And then I proposed changes. A lot of changes. Substantive changes. Changes all across state government.
Those proposals ran into a lot of resistance. Why? You've heard me say this before, and I'll say it again: change is hard. It's especially hard when it hasn't happened in a long time. But change is also necessary.
Our state government was bloated, broke, broken, and inefficient.
The bottom line is this: it wasn't serving particularly well the taxpayers who pay for it.
So we proposed a lot of changes.
The purpose of this presentation today is to allow some members of this Administration to talk about some of the important changes they're making in state government. I believe we are making progress in our efforts to have state government better serve the taxpayers, and one reason I wanted to do this today is because I'm going to keep proposing changes going forward. And if we can show that the changes we already proposed are beginning to work, I think we'll have an easier time going forward as we continue to seek more change.
It also gives us an opportunity to try and show Connecticut residents some of what their government is doing to tighten its belt and do more with less. It's no secret that many people are still struggling. We're heading in the right direction, but we have a long way to go. And big changes take time. While Connecticut families are finding ways to squeeze the most they can out of every dollar, it's only right that their government show them that it's working to do the same thing.
So, that's what this report is. Let me quickly tell you what it isn't. It's not an exhaustive list of every change happening in Connecticut. In fact, we're sure there are important changes happening in agencies that we haven't captured in this report, which is why we hope to do more of these in the future.
It's also not about some of the big policy changes in areas like education and job creation, things you've heard a lot about over the past 20 months.
This report is about things that aren't as obvious, but can matter just as much: the mechanics of state government. It's about how we do business and how we deliver services to Connecticut residents.
Two last thoughts.
First, I want to be very clear about who deserves the credit for what you're going to see today: it's the commissioners who proposed the changes, it's the frontline state employees who've implemented those changes, it's the General Assembly members that partnered with us to make a lot of this possible, and it's the people of Connecticut who pay for this government. So thank you, commissioners, and thank you to the people who work for you. You're doing a great job. And thank you to the people of Connecticut for being patient as we work hard to make the changes you deserve.
My second and last point is this: we still have a long way to go. I know that. Yes, we've made a lot of progress, but we still have a long way to go. That's why we will continue to work hard at making state government better at what it does.