Conn. Gov. Rell Vows to Tackle Med-Mal Reform

January 6, 2005

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell indicated in her State of the State address that medical malpractice issue is on her agenda for the new year, her first full year in office.

Rell delivered her first address before the House and Senate. Rell was sworn in as governor on July 1, replacing John Rowland, who resigned amid scandal. Rell became the 87th governor of Connecticut, the second woman in state history to hold the office and the first Republican woman ever to serve as governor.

“We must accept the mantle of leadership with a new sense of inspiration,” she told lawmakers. “We cannot put off the difficult decisions for another day, another generation.”

She said the state faces tough issues in the year ahead. She singled out the state budget, ethics reform and medical malpractice as key concerns for the coming year.

Warning that the state faces a projected $1.3 billion deficit, she said she will soon submit a tight state budget. “The needs are almost limitless, but the resources of our taxpayers are not,” she noted.

She also urged lawmakers to join with her in again tackling medical malpractice reform.

“We will need to address – once and for all – the issue of medical malpractice reform,” Rell said, although she did not offer any solutions or proposals.

Last year lawmakers passed a medical malpractice measure but her predecessor, Gov. Rowland, vetoed it because it failed to include caps on damage awards. He maintained it was useless without those caps.

“We will need to fully debate and consider the issues of stem cell research, education funding, ethics reform, election reform, traffic congestion, health care affordability and so much more,” rell told lawmakers.

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