Gov. Rell delivers State of the State address

Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R- Conn.) delivered her State of the State address on the opening day of the legislative session Wednesday, focusing on the

HARTFORD - Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R- Conn.) delivered her State of the State address on the opening day of the legislative session Wednesday, focusing on the national economic crisis and its affects on the State of Connecticut.

At the beginning of her brief address, the governor welcomed new members of the state Legislature and gave an overview of the past year, emphasizing the seriousness of the economic crisis, which she described as being ?breathtaking in its scope.?

Without going into details, the governor said residents should prepare for future budget cuts that will be required to deal with the hulking $340 million state budget deficit and declining revenues.

?I?m sorry to tell you our resources are few, way too few,? Rell said, addressing the legislators at the state Capitol in Hartford.

The governor went on to say the government of Connecticut will have to find a way to concentrate on issues like health care, education, transportation and environment while reducing spending in order to make sure the state is able to address the needs of all residents.

?Government must shrink because our taxpayers are seeing their personal budgets shrink,? she said.

Rell said she hopes to build on the success of several economic initiatives that were created in 2008 to ease the burden on taxpayers, including a $100 million bank loan program, a $25 million student aid program and two budget mitigation plans, one of which had been passed by Connecticut lawmakers in December.

Amid the pessimistic forecasts for 2009, Gov. Rell emphasized that Connecticut, which still holds the number one place for highest per capita incomes, is in a far better position than other states.

Throughout her 20-minute speech, Gov. Rell avoided going into specifics on future initiatives and possible state cuts. She is expected to outline her economic plan in greater detail when she delivers her budget address Feb. 4.

Reacting to the governor?s speech, many Connecticut lawmakers said Rell helped emphasize the importance of working together and acting quickly.

?The governor was appropriate in warning us we have a lot of work to do, a lot of tough work and decisions we've never had to do before,? said House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (R-142nd District).

For Gov. Rell's full State of the State address, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Channel 612.

Click here to read Gov. Rell's speech

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