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Transportation Focus Of Malloy's State Of State; Injured Senator Returns

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On a day that included musical performances, a parade through Hartford and the start of the legislative session, Connecticut’s Governor Dannel Malloy was sworn in to a second term Wednesday. The Democrat focused on transportation in his address to lawmakers.Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald administered the oath of office to a gleeful Malloy.

During a “State of the State” address later in the day, Malloy proposed widening Interstate-95 and fixing its entrance and exit ramps. He also told lawmakers that building new rail stations, expanding bus service and creating a locked box in which money could only be used for transportation are part of the state’s new approach.  

“Until that legislation is passed and signed I will veto any attempt to levy additional sources of new revenue for transportation,” said Malloy.

Malloy says deficient or congested roads and bridges cost Connecticut drivers $4.2 billion dollars each year through lost time and wasted fuel.

“A state where we attract new businesses because our highways and rail networks can deliver goods efficiently, without delay,” Malloy said. “A state where our children want to stay and raise new generations because they have a choice to live and work with a car… or without one.”A state with three vibrant, deep-water ports exporting more and more goods made right here in Connecticut. A state with an international airport that serves as a hub for transportation across America and around the globe.”

The Democrat did note what he sees as positive actions toward widening Interstate-84 in Waterbury, replacing the Walk Bridge in Norwalk and adding new tracks between New Haven and Hartford. And although transportation funding is up 65 percent over the past four years, Malloy says it’s not enough.

“Let it be a down payment on the kind of state we want to leave to future generations,” he said. “Let it be a promise that Connecticut’s 88th Governor and the 2015 General Assembly were planning ahead. Planning for our children and our children’s children. So that it was their interests that came first in our minds, and first in our hearts.”

The state’s $567 million, 9.4-mile bus-only roadway between Hartford and New Britain is expected to begin operating in late March. The CTfastrak project includes 11 stations in New Britain, Newington, West Hartford and Hartford, with busses running every three-to-six minutes during peak commuting hours. Facing a nearly $32 million deficit, Malloy says the budget he presents next month will include first steps for his transportation vision.

Along with other constitutional officers, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman was sworn in Wednesday. Welcoming those in the Senate Chamber, Wyman mentioned the presence of State Senator Andrew Maynard.

“Want to take a moment to welcome back Andy Maynard,” Wyman said. “A true fighter. It’s great to have you back Andy. God bless you.”

Earlier in the day, the Stonington Democrat’s surprise return to the General Assembly after suffering a head injury in a fall outside his home in July brought fellow lawmakers to their feet for a rousing and sustained applause. Without campaigning, Maynard was reelected in November.

Audio courtesy of Connecticut Network.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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