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In 2011, during my inaugural address to the Connecticut General Assembly, I remarked that transitions in gubernatorial administrations signify a conveyance of hope — the passage from one governor to the next not just of responsibility, but also of expectation and promise.
At the time, that hope had been newly entrusted to me and to the then-incoming Lieutenant Governor, Nancy Wyman. And like each administration that came before, and surely for each that will follow, we had to contend with a cavalcade of challenges facing the state at the time of our election. Together we prepared to confront the myriad issues — big and small — that would eventually come to define our own unique time in history.
For us, many of those issues were expected: our state and nation were grappling with the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, a problem that hit Connecticut particularly hard after decades of underfunding our pensions, pushing our problems out onto future generations, and failing to make the necessary investments in our economy and our infrastructure. Other issues we would face were less unexpected… epic storms the like of which Connecticut had never faced and, an unimaginable tragedy in a small town that left our state and its residents forever changed, and more recently, dramatic shifts in our national politics and national discourse that have shaken the foundation of our democracy.
Thankfully, Connecticut has a heritage of overcoming adversity with compassion, courage, and perseverance. Throughout our tenure, Nancy and I witnessed people of our state rise to the occasion, time and time again, making tough choices and never giving up. I am also proud of the progress my administration accomplished during that time and I am eternally grateful to all those who served in it. As our own Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” And she was right.
This document that follows is an effort to chronicle how the Malloy-Wyman administration grappled with the unique challenges of our time, how we handled things in those tight places before the tide began to turn. It is an overview of major state policy work, although it is by no means an exhaustive accounting. We hope that it is informative and useful for future governors, legislators, and state residents — not just for historical purposes, but for identifying areas where continued focus and future work is still needed. Because the truth is, there always remains more work to be done, and more progress to be made.
At the end of my second term as Governor, and as a new governor and a new administration readies to take over, I am more optimistic than ever about the future of our great state. Connecticut is a small state with a big heart, and I am confident that by continuing to work together, Connecticut will become an even better place to call home.
Serving as the 88th Governor of Connecticut has been the honor of a lifetime. Thank you for entrusting me with our state’s great promise during these eight years.
Dannel P. Malloy