Gov. Dannel Malloy

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Exit Interview: Gov. Malloy Reflects On Past 8 Years

December 24, 2018 - 7:00 am

HARTFORD, Conn. (WCBS 880) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, who struggled throughout his two-terms with low popularity, says he is surprised by the victories he pulled off since 2010.

The Democrat, who announced that he would not be seeking a third term in April 2017, is preparing to leave office with one of the lowest approval ratings of any U.S. governor, but is still popular nationally thanks to his work with criminal justice and education reform.

In an interview with WCBS 880’s Steve Scott, Malloy said Connecticut is in a much better place than it was eight years ago.

“I'd rather be coming into being governor today than when I became governor. Connecticut is far stronger,” the governor said.

He notes that he would have done everything over again to pursue the changes he said were necessary, including increasing taxes.

Malloy told WCBS 880 that his unpopularity in the state was not a factor in his decision to not seek another term as governor. He says: “At this point in my career, I want to have a whole new profession.”

Though, he feels he is leaving the state in “far better” shape than he found it.

“We’re created, in a small state, 23,000 jobs so far this 12-month period, which is more than Connecticut has produced in a similar period in 30 years. We have announced agreements with companies that will bring, fairly shortly, in 11,000 additional jobs to Connecticut. We've passed a constitutional amendment, which is not easy to do, in Connecticut that will make sure that future governors and legislators can't take money out of the transportation fund and that money has to be devoted to transportation and that stops what's happened in the past,” Malloy said.

He touted the lowest crime rate in 50 years, one of the lowest rates of incarcerated citizens in years and increasingly higher high school graduation rates.

Though, he says his crowning achievement was “putting together a team of people who affected policy and implemented policies that have made people's lives better and the future of Connecticut stronger.”

Despite raising taxes in the state twice, Malloy’s administration started the First Five program, providing more than $376,000 to 19 companies in order to retain more than 30,000 jobs and create over 10,000.

Additionally, Malloy said he was proud of the state’s pension plans and the ability to past stricter gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, which he said changed himself and many others.

As for his future, the Democrat says he will continue to be political, though he jokes, “I doubt that anyone is going to be interested in my opinion.”

Malloy says he wants to use his voice for advocacy for refugees, the LGBTQ community and on behalf of educators.

Democrat Ned Lamont will be sworn in as Connecticut's next governor on Jan. 9.

Asked what advice he had for the governor elect, Malloy responded:

“It's all about building a team and having the right people in the right position to execute good, solid public policy and to have the courage to defend your commissioners and stand by them and work with them. If he gets that right he's gonna have a wonderful four, eight or 12 years and if he doesn't put that team together rapidly, then it's going to be very difficult for him.”

Malloy adds that he had confidence that Lamont will do a great job as his successor.

“I'm betting he’s going to be a good governor, he is a very decent soul.”

Listen to the complete interview with Gov. Dannel Malloy and WCBS 880’s Steve Scott above.