Gov. Dannel Malloy defended his record on job growth and investment during his two terms as Connecticut’s chief statesman during his final post-bond commission press conference.
“We have more private sector jobs in the state of Connecticut today than we have ever had,” Malloy said.
“If you gave that scorecard to anyone out on the street particularly after candidates running for governor said we were bleeding jobs, they wouldn’t believe it. It is a self-defeating criticism when we repeat untruths about the state,” he added.
Malloy, clearly irked by the comments made about him on the campaign trail during the midterm election, spoke to the media after the most recent Bond Commission meeting where the state approved taking on tens of millions in new debt in order to make investments from transportation to economic incentives.
Among the projects was $90 million for interstate highway upgrades in West Hartford, and millions in incentives for companies like Indeed in Stamford, Express Kitchens in Hartford, and GKN Aerospace in Cromwell.
Republican Rep. Chris Davis, (R – Ellington), has long been a critic of the governor’s borrowing and economic development strategy.
Davis, who sits on the Bond Commission by virtue of his ranking member status on the General Assembly’s Finance Committee, says he wishes there was more restraint across the board for projects, noting Connecticut’s fiscal crisis dating back to 2011.
“It’s a desperate need now that we have to try to reduce the state budget and one area that we can control directly as the State of Connecticut is how much debt service we take on and I would highly suggest Governor Lamont try to reduce that number as much as possible,” said Davis.
The governor said he’s had the political courage to use the bond commission to make improvements in the state, something previous governors never did.
“None of us is an ostrich but many of us are ostrich-like. They’d rather hide from the problem than address the problem,” Malloy said.
He called out previous governors for their job growth performance in relation to his. Connecticut has yet to recover all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, but Malloy says the reason for that is because he helped shrink the executive branch by more than 10 percent.
“Governor Weicker saw the loss of 38,000 jobs during the time that he was governor. Governor Rowland netted by the time he left office 63,000 net jobs. Governor Rell saw the loss of 33,000 jobs and while I’ve been governor we’ve seen the creation of over 100,000 jobs.”
His final criticisms were reserved for Connecticut’s business community. Malloy would not name names, but admonished what he viewed as unproductive points of view from the state’s corporate sector.
“When business organizations and individual leaders of companies spend a lot of time and energy criticizing the state in which they’re located, it is a self-defeating proposition.”