Republicans, who criticized Malloy and the majority Democrats for not cutting more spending to address what was the largest per-capital deficit in the nation, questioned the governor's statement, given the projected deficits and high unemployment figures."Anyone who believes we in the state of Connecticut are in a better place than we were two years ago, I'd like to hear why," Cafero said. Still, Malloy warned that national inaction "hangs like a dark cloud over our budget," adding how many residents working in the state's defense industry are experiencing sleepless nights because of the prospect of federal budget cuts. He also called the slow pace of receiving federal aid following the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy "unacceptable." "I say this not to demean any of our colleagues in Washington, but in the hope that we will better appreciate what we've accomplished here in Connecticut," said Malloy, predicting that state officials will "rise the occasion" and address the challenges this session.