"Connecticut business needs a single focal point, and that will be my office," Rell said Monday. "For too long, businesses already in Connecticut and those contemplating moving here have received mixed messages from the maze of agencies working on economic development policy. That will end." (Keating)
The Department of Economic and Community Development is on the list to be restructured, as are several other agencies.
Democrats aren't impressed. Dan Malloy, in a campaign press release, said "Governor Rell, the political candidate in an election year, is now putting forth a campaign strategy for jobs," (Malloy) while rival John DeStefano said "This is another in a series of Jodi Rell’s election-year epiphanies. Reorganizing state agencies is something she could have done a year ago," (DeStefano).
Indeed, it does seem like a small move, especially compared with the massive (and expensive) plans DeStefano unveiled last week. Rell is expected to outline further economic plans in her State of the State tomorrow, but I doubt we'll hear anything that's really innovative or bold.
Still, there is not yet a sense of economic crisis in the state. One may develop as the year progresses, but I doubt it. The economic leakage is too slow to attract much notice.
It would be nice to see the legislative leadership pick up the slack on jobs and development, and it looks like this year they're seriously considering taking it under advisement. We'll see if they can manage anything new or creative during the short session.
In the meantime, jobs, wealth and people continue to trickle south.
DeStefano for Connecticut press release: "Statement by Mayor John DeStefano on Governor Rell’s Announcement of Economic Plan." 6 February, 2006.
Keating, Christopher. "Rell Takes On The Economy." Hartford Courant 7 February, 2006.
Malloy for Governor press release: "Malloy Reacts to Governor Rell's Economic Development Press Release." 6 February, 2006.