State nears borrowing limit following bonding commission meeting

HARTFORD — Tens of millions of dollars were put on the state credit card during Tuesday’s bond commission meeting. It was the last bond commission meeting under Gov.  Dan Malloy’s administration. All 34 items were approved, most were unanimous.

Connecticut is now just $7-million dollars away from their borrowing limit. 34 more big ticket items were put on the state’s credit card. Items ranging from fixing broken chairs at Rentschler Field to renovating bathrooms at the Carl Robinson Correctional Facility.

Connecticut will spend $2.5 million removing dead trees across the state, and $50,000 dollars on police body cameras and video storage. Upgrades will also be made to New London State Pier to get ready for offshore wind development. “The investments that were making have long been called for. We’ve been making them gradually. I think there is an opportunity with respect to wind generated energy,” said Gov. Malloy.

Also approved — another $20.5-million in grant and loan money to retain businesses and help them grow. Businesses like Express Kitchens who will create more than 200 new jobs by bringing their current offshore manufacturing to Hartford. Also, the job seeking website Indeed. “Indeed, the worlds number 1 job site will remain in Stamford for years to come and expand their workforce a further 500 jobs,” said Gov. Malloy.

Reflecting on the last 8 years, Gov. Malloy said he has some regrets. “I wish I had been able to make allies in the business community. Understand that their constant badmouthing of the state was hurting our and their desire to make the state a stronger attraction to out of state employers.”

He said he’s been helping Gov. Elect Ned Lamont get ready to take the reigns. “My pledge that I made to myself 8 years ago is that we would treat any incoming administration, Democrat or Republican as well as we possibly could, and substantially better than I have been.”

Also approved was a new Lane on I-84 between exits 40-42, fixing courthouse, libraries and new school athletic fields. They approved redeveloping some blighted buildings in Hartford, and creating a new park.

Malloy is defending his job creation record, saying multimillion-dollar state investments are bearing fruit.

The panel has approved numerous grants and loans to help attract, grow, and sustain businesses in Connecticut. Such financial assistance was criticized during the recent governor's race.

Malloy says the state has assisted more than 100 companies this year that have promised to rtain nearly 24,000 jobs and add 11,000 more, calling it ``real and substantial progress.''

Connecticut has recovered about 90 percent of the jobs lost during the 2008-2010 recession. Malloy attributes the remaining 10 percent to the downsizing of state and local government, which he supports.