Following Republican Tom Foley’s concession Monday afternoon, Governor-elect Dan Malloy held a press conference at the state Capitol where he discussed the next steps he and his staff will be taking as they begin the transition into the office, with the state’s budget as the first issue to be addressed.
“Now it’s time for Nancy [Wyman] and I to get to work,” he told reporters.
Malloy said it was important for the people of the state to know that he was about to change how state government does business and first on his list was tackling the budget.
“There will be no more games when it comes to budgeting. We’ve made it clear that we will establish and adopt new rules and I’m fully cognizant that these are tremendously difficult times as we look at the budget and look to the future,” he said.
Malloy will be facing a $3.3 billion budget deficit. Malloy said he still intends to adopt Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which should lend some transparency to the budgeting process, even though applying it will reveal the budget deficit to be worse than it appeared before.
“What I’m insisting on is that we be transparent, that we tell the truth to the people of the state of Connecticut,” he said, “that everyone knows where the state stands. Under GAAP that may require that we present a plan over time for the balancing of the budget.”
Malloy said he had spoken to Gov. M. Jodi Rell earlier in the day and that she had informed him that the budget would be transmitted on time next week. Rell must prepare a transition budget by Nov. 15.
“She is prepared to sit down with me shortly thereafter as we go through that budget and start to make some decisions on what a Malloy/Wyman budget will, in fact, look like,” he said.
He said he looks forward to having a strong working relationship with the media, which he said will be his source of communication with the people of Connecticut.
Aside from his selection of Timothy Bannon as his Chief of Staff, which he announced last week, Malloy said he had not yet decided on who would be filling any of the many positions he would soon need to fill.
Early in the press conference Malloy also took a moment to thank Foley, who he called a “classy guy.”
“I can honestly say that it is a pleasure to pay him a compliment for the way he has comported himself and I do in fact look forward to having a relationship with him and working with him in the future because we both love this state very, very much,” he said.
“I also want to say, on a personal note that he really did exhibit great class and grace under an enormous amount of pressure and at a time when I’m sure he was feeling disappointed.”
Malloy said he did not expect a legal challenge from his former opponent once it was clear that the numbers supported him as the winner.
“I had taken the measure of Tom Foley a long time ago and, as a result, did not believe there would be a legal challenge,” he said, adding that believed Foley to be a reasonable individual who would not challenge will of the voters.
Malloy also fielded questions regarding the ballot problems in Bridgeport.
“I think, I hope, that people have learned a lesson about how many ballots to have available on the day of an election,” he said.
When asked if he thought the state should pay for ballots for every town to prevent similar problems from occurring again Malloy said he didn’t know and it was something he would think about.
After his prepared comments Malloy joked with reporters about what he would do with all the green ties he had been wearing in the past few weeks.
“We’re currently having discussions about all those green ties I wore,” he said, adding that he was thinking about donating them to charity but was clear that he may still wear green ties in the future.