HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman today announced that they will hold a community forum in Meriden on the evening of Thursday, March 13, giving them an opportunity to discuss their agenda for the future with state residents. In particular, the Governor said he would like to discuss the responsible management of the state’s finances, efforts to support job growth, proposals to increase universal access to pre-kindergarten and make higher education a little more affordable, and increase the state’s minimum wage.
The forum will be held from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the gymnasium of John Barry Elementary School (124 Columbia Street). Residents who would like an opportunity to ask the Governor a question should arrive prior to the start of the event to submit their names on the sign-up sheet. The forum is open to the public and tickets are not necessary.
“In the last three years, the private sector has grown more than 40,000 private sector jobs, the state’s long-term debt has been reduced by more than $11.5 billion, and the state budget went from a $3.6 billion deficit to a $500 million surplus. These are all signs of progress, however there is still more work to do,” Governor Malloy said. “Engaging the public at forums like these is a critical component in our strategy to make our communities stronger and our economy more competitive.”
This legislative session, Governor Malloy’s proposed a series of initiatives that will build a prosperous future, including:
Allocating Connecticut’s $505 million budget surplus in a responsible way:
Increases the state’s rainy day fund by $270 million (bringing the balance to $543 million)
Continues to pay down long-term debt by $100 million towards pension obligations (saving taxpayers $430 million over 20 years)
Gives back to Connecticut taxpayers through a modest sales and gas tax refund and $447 million in longer-term tax relief
Supporting both small businesses and working families:
Increases Connecticut’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017
Continues to fund the Small Business Express Program, which has already helped 1,000 Connecticut small businesses create and maintain 13,000 jobs.
· Investing in education:
o Moves Connecticut toward universal access to pre-kindergarten, serving 4,000 more children by 2018 and preparing for full statewide access.
o Makes higher education a little more affordable, offering new parents up to a $250 investment in a tax-free college savings account for their child, increasing funding for college scholarships, and incentivizes college completion by offering free classes to returning students.
Dates and locations for additional community forums throughout the state will be announced during the coming weeks as each event is scheduled.
Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman have held these forums each year since their inauguration in 2011, speaking with hundreds of citizens on a comprehensive range of state issues. This year’s schedule of events can be located online at http://governor.ct.gov/communityforums.