During a whirlwind two-day visit to Washington, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been asked by two very different groups to talk about his brief record in the governor’s office.
Although he was inaugurated only last year, Malloy was asked by Governing magazine to be its keynote speaker Tuesday for its “Outlook in the States & Localities Conference.”
Malloy, a Democrat, said he created 9,000 new jobs in Connecticut, and in his words, “talked about righting the ship.”
During a Q & A, Malloy said he is concerned about the possibility of a new round of base closings and the fierce partisanship in Washington.
“A lot of these folks, when you get them away from Washington and from a microphone, they are reasonable,” Malloy said of Capitol Hill lawmakers.
Malloy also attended an award ceremony for United Technologies. The Hartford-based defense contractor giant was honored by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities for spending more than $1 billion in tuition reimbursements for its employees.
Malloy hopes to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to ask for more money to establish Connecticut’s insurance exchange. All states are required by the Affordable Care Act to set up these exchanges and have them functioning by 2014.
Connecticut has already received $7 million to $8 million in federal grants to set up an exchange. But Malloy wants much more.
“Our application (for a new round of grants) will be substantial,” he said.
On Wednesday, Malloy’s trip to Washington may take an unpleasant turn. A House panel, led by Republicans, will question the governor on his record. Malloy will be a witness at a hearing by the House Education & the Workforce Committee aimed at “learning about state proposals to encourage fiscal discipline and job creation.”
Malloy was invited by the top Democrat on the panel, Rep. George Miller of California, to provide a counterweight to another witness, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan. Snyder cut $1.8 billion from his state budget last year, largely by cutting health care and state retirement plans, scaling back tax breaks for low-income people and ending welfare benefits for thousands.