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Closing Remarks of the 2018 Regular Session

Hall of the House of Representatives, State Capitol

May 10, 2018

Thank you for that introduction, Nancy. And thank you for your partnership and friendship over the years. You are the best Lieutenant Governor in the nation.

Now everyone, please sit down and make yourselves comfortable. Since this is my last address to you, I’m going to spend the next few hours airing some of the grievances I didn’t get to over the last eight years.

I’m kidding. I’ve worked well with many of you, I wish you well. And to the rest of you… Well, you better be careful or else I just might endorse you in your elections this fall.

Congratulations to you all on another legislative session. Once again, we’ve accomplished a great deal in a relatively short amount of time.

And most recently, you’ve passed a budget. I obviously have not yet been able to review it yet. So for now, I will just assume that a repeal of minimum bottle is in there somewhere.

Of course, I will review the budget in full over the coming days. For tonight, I will say that I commend you on working together once again. Bipartisanship is something to be celebrated. It’s something to be fostered in the years ahead.

Speaking of the years ahead, I leave the Office of the Governor with a hope and a belief that Connecticut can focus on fiscal discipline and restraint in the years ahead. That you can do what’s necessary to shore up our budget reserves and prepare for whatever comes next.

You can build on the progress we’ve made these past eight years:

The lowest average growth rate in the General Fund in many decades.

Two historic labor agreements that are saving the state more than $42 billion dollars over a 20-year period of time.

An executive branch that is now 13 percent smaller than it was 8 years ago, and at its lowest staffing level since 1975 when I was a sophomore in college.

And now, a Rainy Day Fund set to reach more than $1 billion next year.

And beyond the state budget, I am optimistic that the General Assembly will continue to make Connecticut a fairer, healthier, more just place to work and live.

Just look at what we accomplished this session.

When we first gathered in this chamber a few short months ago, many of us said we would fight for pay equity, and together this session we created new laws that will help ensure equal pay for equal work!

I said that day in February that we would continue our efforts to fight gun violence, and together, we did it by banning bump stocks in the state of Connecticut!

I said we would stand with victims of sexual assault, and together, we did it by improving how we process evidence kits, and by ensuring victims are treated more fairly and more compassionately!

I said we would bring greater fairness and greater dignity to incarcerated women, and together, we did exactly that we a new law that is already getting national attention!

I said we would better prepared our state for the effects of climate change, and together, we did it while continuing to make our energy cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient!

Together, we did those things and so much more.

We expanded access to financial aid for Connecticut Dreamers!

We entered Connecticut into the National Popular Vote compact!

We supported pay increases for our hardworking homecare and group-home workers!

This session, you accomplished all of these things and more.

And for all of it, I want to say thank you. Thank you for the hard work that went into not only this session – and into every session over the last eight years.

I also wish to thank legislative leaders for your collaboration and candor.

Lastly, I’d like to thank my staff – both current and past – who have consistently given it their all each session and every day. And in particular, I’d like to recognize three individuals to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude. They are three of the most talented, insightful, and compassionate people I am lucky enough to have had at my side since day one. So to Liz Donohue, Brian Durand, and Ben Barnes – from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you do and for who you are.

We have accomplished a great deal together in these past eight years. I’m proud to have fought these battles alongside all of you. And I’m proud to have served as your 88th Governor.

It has truly been the honor of my lifetime.

Thank you, and God bless the great State of Connecticut.