With steady leadership, Gov. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Wyman have made the tough decisions to put Connecticut on a path of progress. Three and a half years ago, Connecticut faced a $3.67 billion deficit -- one of the worst per-person deficits in the nation -- tens of billions of dollars in debt, minimal net job growth over the past 20 years and dim prospects for the future.
Today, Connecticut's budget is in the green. With three straight years of surpluses, nearly $400 million has been added to the Rainy Day Fund, while $11.6 billion in debt has been eliminated. Our books are balanced. Before Gov. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Wyman took office, private sector employment had plummeted, with unemployment reaching 9.3 percent. Today, more than 55,000 private sector jobs have been created and unemployment is at a five-year low.
Gov. Malloy has also worked to fix local roads, rail and bridges. That includes holding Metro-North accountable for improved service, a transportation budget that is 165 percent of what it was in 2010, and one of the largest transportation capital budgets in Connecticut history. Further, over the last two years, Gov. Malloy has increased town aid road grants by $120 million and funding for the local bridges program by $25 million.
Gov. Malloy has protected aid to cities and towns, preventing local property tax increases, and empowering mayors and first selectmen with options -- and he will not shift budget burdens to the local level.
I urge everyone to join me and support our governor for re-election.