FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The deadly school shooting in Newtown was on the mind of Gov. Dannel Malloy as he spoke in the Hall of the House early Thursday after both the state House and Senate adjourned, ending the 2013 legislative session in Connecticut.
After thanking the legislators for their work this session, Malloy recalled the opening of the session five months ago.
"I think back to that cold day in January when we came together to begin our work, all of us still reeling from the worst tragedy we could imagine," Malloy said. "Every one of us would give anything to go back to December 14 and prevent what happened that day. But we can’t. The best we can do is to go forward in a way that honors those we’ve lost. And in the halls of the Capitol this session, we’ve seen that commitment to push forward."
The state legislators worked to make the state a better, safer place, he said, praising in particular the bipartisan gun violence prevention bill.
Malloy also cited the $1.5 billion approved to expand the University of Connecticut, including the addition of housing and program at its Stamford campus and the move of the Hartford campus. The legislature also approved increased spending on public schools.
"At a time when it would have been easy to cut and run on education, we went in another direction and invested nearly half a billion dollars into our public schools, most of it going to chronically struggling districts," he said. "Is it enough? When it comes to our public schools, it’s never enough. But working together, I know that our kids will have access to great public schools, no matter what city or town they live in."
In the end, the governor praised the work of the legislators in passing the state budget.
"No budget is perfect, but let’s be clear – this budget gets the big things right," Malloy said. "In a time when partisan gridlock has brought progress to a halt in Washington – and too many other places for that matter – we’ve done some great things together."
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