Gov. Lamont Highlights State's Economic Achievements, Discusses Need for Fiscal Reform

Governor Ned Lamont highlighted some of the state's economic achievements at a news conference in Milford on Tuesday and also discussed the need for fiscal reforms and different spending habits.

"I'm looking at the most innovative state, the fourth most innovative and you know, you think of this state as you know, we've got some great old businesses. We make helicopters, we make submarines, we make tools. A, they are all retooling right now. You wouldn't believe how they're updating and computerizing everything they do," Lamont said.

It was also announced that the state has been upgraded by a national bond rating agency.

"The State of Connecticut, the nation's premiere bond rating agencies have upgraded our state for the first time in a while." said Milford Mayor Ben Blake.

Blake said Milford has seen the economy get better in their town firsthand.

"We are right in the middle of an economic renaissance. We've had an explosion of new businesses come into town, businesses that already exist here expanding. Last year alone, we had 465 new businesses that have made Milford our home. Obviously that is good for our tax base, but it also is a good opportunity and it leverages other economic opportunities," Blake said.

Milford and New Haven have also seen more millennial relocate there compared to everywhere else in the nation, according to new research.

"One of the things that we've recently seen it leverage was put out last week in Bloomberg Business, where research shows that more millennials are moving to Milford and New Haven than anywhere else in the nation," Blake added.

He said there's a whole host of factors, but believes it's because Milford has jobs, there are businesses coming in and it's a great place to work and live.

Blake also said there are numerous institutions of higher learning that surround the town like Yale University and University of Bridgeport and there's easy access to transportation including by boat, train and cars.

"It is a great place if you want to get to New York in an hour and a half or Boston in two hours, but most importantly we're in downtown Milford right now. There is a lot of hustle and bustle. The City of Milford has more coastline than anywhere else, 70 and a half miles of pristine shore front. This is the place that people want to be," Blake said.

"I love the fact that U.S. millennials, a generation later, still find this is a wonderful place to be, to live, the quality of life," Lamont added.

At the news conference, Lamont also discussed the need for fiscal reforms and spending within the state's means, as well as how to responsibly invest in the infrastructure.

"We're trying to get our fiscal house in order, get our structural cost fixed so this next generation of folks right here knows what Connecticut is going to look like in 20 years and knows that we have an economy that invests in the future, a budget that invests in the future, doesn't borrow from the future," Lamont said.

Lamont added that he's talked to business leaders asking what it takes for them to grow here and how to attract the next generation of talent.

"They [business leaders] told me two things: they said one...Connecticut, you've gotta get your fiscal house in order. Connecticut, you've been addicted to debt for a long time and that's what we've done in our budget," Lamont said.

He said the other issue that business owners complained about was traffic and congestion on roads.

"The other thing I heard from every business owner is the gridlock is killing us. The congestion on our roads, the slowing rail and that's why I've tried to do, in a very appropriate way, not borrowing more, which is what the legislature wants to do to, some of the legislature want to do to fix the transportation, but invest in our future...having users pay for that through electronic tolling," Lamont added.

Lamont said he plans to have a lot of the cost be picked up by people who are from out of state or companies who drive tractor-trailers through the state.

"Over half of that cost would be born by out of staters and big tractor trailer companies. So that we can not have Connecticut taxpayers have to pick up the burden, but those that use the roads to do it. It's the most important thing we can do to get this state going again, to get this state growing again," he said.

Lamont said he is working collaboratively with his friends in the legislature to form a budget and has about 30 days to go.

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