State Government Operations
If we’re going to change the narrative about Connecticut and restore people’s faith in government, we need to completely rethink the way our state operates.
We need to be realistic and responsible when it comes to our state budget. As Governor, I will balance the budget without the use of accounting gimmicks. Just like we did at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs under my leadership as Commissioner, all state agencies should examine partnering with non-profit organizations and the private sector to provide a high level of services on a cost-effective basis. In the short-term, our budget will be very tight. I will streamline government operations using innovative thinking and continuing lean initiatives to make sure that state government does its part to get Connecticut out of its fiscal hole.
Relationship Between State and Local Government
Local governments are partners with state government and I will make sure that both state and local government work together to be part of Connecticut’s economic solution. I will review the host of unfunded mandates that the state has imposed on municipalities and, where it makes sense, I will provide mandate relief for our towns and cities. As Governor, I will also incentivize the creation of cost-saving efficiencies across local governments in recognition of reduced state aid so that local tax dollars are being spent smartly. We need to scale and merge activities across local municipalities in order to reduce duplication, leverage best practices, and create efficiency. There must also be a gradual partnership between the state and local governments on teacher pension costs.
Our state agencies’ regulations must make sense and serve a purpose. Modern regulations must address existing issues. My administration will undergo a complete review of all our regulations and we will cut unnecessary red tape. I will promote a shift of resources from licensing to supervision and enforcement to reduce the cost of doing business for good citizens and discourage bad actors. We will reduce occupational licensing hurdles when health and safety is not at risk and modernize regulations to remove obsolete restrictions and streamline processes. By engaging in true regulatory modernization, we will make state government more nimble and efficient so that, given our tight fiscal constraints, our state government’s limited resources are being smartly spent to appropriately further the missions and core functions of our state agencies.
Equal Opportunity No Matter Who You Are
Our state’s economy will only be a national leader if we ensure that every citizen has the same opportunities, no matter who you are or where you live. As a society, we can only achieve success, and our economy can only realize sustainable growth, if every one of our citizens has a fair shot regardless of who they are. As Governor, I will fight for equal pay for women because gender is not an acceptable reason for being treated differently. Our children in Connecticut’s urban centers must also have the same opportunities for a good education, training, and high-paying jobs as children in more affluent communities so that we reduce the unacceptably high rate of income inequality in the state.
Connecticut is a state with a rich history, beautiful scenery, and world-class attractions. We need to make sure that the rest of the world knows that. My plan to grow our economy includes the promotion of tourism opportunities that exist throughout all parts of the state. Economic development in Connecticut necessarily includes supporting our state’s tourism industry. With so many great places and attractions in all corners of Connecticut, we need to make sure we leverage all that we have to offer to full realize the economic potential of our state’s tourism industry. By cultivating Connecticut’s tourism industry, we can create additional avenues of opportunity through tourism-related job growth and increased spending within our borders.
We haven’t maximized the economic benefits that tourism brings to Connecticut because we have insufficiently marketed all the great places to visit and things to do in the state. We need a unified vision that promotes tourism from the idyllic country settings to the historic coastal towns and everywhere in between.
By thinking strategically about the way we leverage our unique geographic location between Boston and New York, we can position Connecticut as a must-see destination for both U.S. and international travelers. As home to some of the world’s best colleges and universities and the United States Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut hosts thousands of students, prospective students and their families every year. As part of my tourism strategy, we will work to promote Connecticut’s diverse and vibrant cultural and historical offerings to this group of people.
With a smart, coordinated focus on our state’s tourism industry, we can maximize the economic impact of that industry as part of Connecticut’s overall rejuvenated economic growth.
Changing the Narrative About Connecticut
In addition to policy, a key part of being Governor involves serving as a cheerleader for Connecticut, both in state and out-of-state. We need to leverage the many positive aspects about doing business, working, living, and raising a family in Connecticut.
As Governor, I will have a management style that unites, not divides Connecticut. I will build relationships across different constituencies and party lines, so that Connecticut is recognized as a unified state collectively working toward economic revitalization. I will communicate and listen in communities and constituencies across Connecticut continuously so that everyone can plan for policy changes, and I will incorporate input I receive to make our initiatives better.
I love Connecticut and I will fight every day to make Connecticut a state deserving of your pride. Come join me in transforming Connecticut into a 21st century economic leader in our country.
We Are One Connecticut!