Governor Lamont's Closing Remarks of the 2019 Legislative Session

Closing Remarks of the 2019 Legislative Session
Governor Ned Lamont
State Capitol, Hall of the House of Representatives
June 6, 2019

Thank you, Madam Lieutenant Governor.

I was going to share with you my ten-point transportation plan this evening, but Annie suggested that may not be such a great idea. So, what I really want to do is thank the Speaker and the Majority Leader; the President of the Senate and the Majority Leader in the Senate; and, the Minority Leader, Themis and Len – and all of you for the incredible work that you have done.

Everybody talks about all the big bills we have – and the controversial things. I just wanted to remind you of a lot of the important small things that you did as well. You got 5G in under the wire, I was told. I have to tell you that's going to be transformative for this state over the next decade. Wind power, ghost guns, and minority teacher recruitment – I can go on – but I also want to thank you for getting a balanced budget on time. That is so important.

When I stood before you in February, I told you how important it was to local mayors, first selectmen, superintendents of schools, teachers, and small business people. They said, "Look guv, I know you're inheriting a three and a half billion dollar deficit, and I'm not expecting a lot more money, but can you give me a budget on time so I can plan accordingly?" You have done that, and that is important. We did that with a budget that held the line on spending. We showed that we could live within our means. We told the mayors that we could not give them a lot more. We held them harmless on municipal aid and gave a little more money for education so there is a better opportunity to not just invest in our kids for the future, but to be better positioned to hold the line on property taxes as well. We are able to tell them that we're prepared.

This is the tenth year of recovery, and if there is a downturn, we do have two billion dollars in a rainy day fund. We're better positioned than we have ever been before to take it on right now – head on. That is important. It's also a budget, which at the end of year two – sometimes we go off the cliff with billions of dollars in deficits – but no, fiscal stability is a key to economic growth. This is a budget that gets us going in the right direction.

I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you. OFA, OPM, Finance and Approps – I'm getting the lingo down. You did it extraordinarily. I hope it didn’t take too much of a toll on you.

Which reminds me, we do have a little bit of unfinished business. We're going to have to figure out – Republicans and Democrats alike – know how important it is to fix the transportation system and speeding up the transportation system. We have a dispute about how we're going to pay for it, but we're going to do that together. We are going to do that in a special session. We're going to do that because we – Republican or Democrat – we're all here because we love the State of Connecticut and we want to do the right thing. I look forward to doing that with each and every one of you.

Good night, and thank you.