New Governor, Legislature Sworn In Today
Dan Malloy, the first Democrat to win the governor’s office in more than two decades, will take over Wednesday as the state’s 88th governor.
Malloy is scheduled to take the oath of office at 2 p.m. at public ceremony in the state Armory named after Connecticut’s last Democratic governor, William A. O’Neill.
Then it’s back to Capitol for some work. Malloy is expected to sign a series of executive orders including one which will change the way the state does its accounting. It’s that executive order which will make it harder for Malloy to resolve what is expected to be a more than $3.67 billion budget deficit.
With the executive orders fresh in his mind Malloy will then proceed to the House chamber to address the General Assembly for what is expected to be a half-hour speech. On Tuesday Malloy joked that the length of the speech will depend on how nervous he is and how many applause he receives.
On his first day in office Malloy will have already announced eight of 23 state commissioners and his administration has been confident that what is left of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s commissioners will stay until Malloy can nominate a replacement.
Questions had been raised about the Department of Children and Families since Susan Hamilton had tendered her resignation and former Supreme Court Justice Joette Katz has yet to be approved by the legislature. Malloy’s advisors said Tuesday that Katz has agreed to resign from the court and take over the agency immediately. Malloy’s Chief of Staff Timothy Bannon also said a few weeks ago that he expects Department of Social Services Commissioner Michael Starkowski to remain until a replacement is named. Starkowski accepted the early retirement package in 2009 and his contract extension expired at the end of December, but Bannon said he was assured Starkowski would return to duty today.
In addition to Malloy approximately 178 legislators will also be sworn in Wednesday. But there are at least nine lawmakers, possibly more, that won’t take the oath. At a press conference on Tuesday Malloy admitted he’s losing some veteran legislative talent, but said “my hope is that others will step up.”
At least five lawmakers were hand picked by Malloy to serve in his administration, two more have taken other positions in state government, and one will be arraigned today on larceny charges.
Three of the vacancies are unrelated to Malloy appointments:
-Sen. Tom Gaffey, D-Meriden, won his election but decided not to be sworn in because he is facing an arraignment Wednesday on misdemeanor larceny charges related to campaign finances;
-Rep. James Spallone, D-Essex, was appointed Deputy Secretary of the State by Denise Merrill, and;
-Rep. John Geragosian, D-New Britain, has been nominated by legislative leaders to be one of the state’s two auditors of public accounts.
Malloy has picked the following lawmakers to serve in his administration:
-Rep. Chris Caruso, D-Bridgeport, will serve as special counsel in the Department of Economic and Community Development.
-Rep. Deborah Heinrich, D-Madison, appointed to newly created Nonprofit Advocate cabinet position;
-Rep. David McCluskey, D-West Hartford, appointed to the Board of Pardons and Parole;
-Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, appointed Malloy’s chief legal counsel;
-Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, appointed to the Office of Policy and Management, and;
-Sen. Donald DeFronzo, D-New Britain, to head the Department of Administrative Services.
Earlier in the morning around 10 a.m. Malloy will swear in Nancy Wyman as lieutenant governor in the Senate chamber. At around 1 p.m. the inaugural parade begins at Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park and concludes at the armory for the ceremony.
As Malloy exits the armory he will be greeted with a 19-gun artillery salute and a helicopter flyover before proceeding to his Capitol office to sign a series of executive orders around 3:15 p.m.
At around 3:30 Malloy will address the General Assembly in House chamber for what is expected to be a half-hour speech.
The day of pomp and circumstance will conclude with the inaugural ball at the Connecticut Convention Center.
And following a tradition started by outgoing Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Malloy and Wyman will greet the public on Saturday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the state Capitol.