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Governor Rell Opens Session
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Governor M. Jodi Rell: Photo by Mark Mirko of the Hartford CourantGovernor M. Jodi Rell: Photo by Mark Mirko of the Hartford CourantOn the opening day of the 2008 legislative session, Governor Rell delivered her annual State of the State address.

Governor Rell told state lawmakers that although economists may disagree as to whether the nation has entered a recession, Connecticut families are having trouble keeping up with the cost of living. She said her budget will not exceed the state spending cap and does not raise taxes. Rell offered a range of initiatives – support for veterans and their families; tougher laws for sex offenders; and a new requirement for violent criminals.

"I want all persons arrested for an A or B felony, the most serious of criminal charges, to provide DNA samples immediately upon arraignment. Those convicted of lesser felonies and certain misdemeanors must provide a DNA sample at conviction. These samples will be processed to see if there are any matches related to unsolved crimes."

Rell proposed programs to make state roadways safer: additional state troopers, more truck safety inspectors, stricter rules for teenage drivers. She also told state lawmakers that the Department of Transportation is broken.

"DOT has, as an institution has simply become too bureaucratic, too inefficient and too single minded in its problem solving approach. Bold reforms arenecessary. And that is why I am calling for an end to the old DOT and the creation of two new focused departments."

Rell called on lawmakers to fund support for the field of nanotechnology, nursing scholarships, and oversight of child care facilities. She also included funds for programs to preserve state parks and forests and a new Cultural Capital Program.

Listen to Governor Rell's entire State of the State Address.

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