Late last month, I paid an early-morning visit to Darien Train Station where I met with commuters and offered them a short update on state government in Hartford and transportation developments that will impact commuters on the Metro-North line.

A couple times a year, I like to pay a visit to our train stations and talk to commuters about what we're up to, what their concerns are and what's important to their daily lives. Many of you have seen me doing my visits throughout the year; I always appreciate the quick conversations before the train arrives and the follow-up e-mails from those I don't get the chance to connect with.

I also appreciate the opportunity to offer some news. For example, the Department of Transportation recently announced that the first pair of our long-awaited new rail cars from Japan for the Metro-North rail line has arrived and are undergoing testing before going into active service. Over the next four months, three additional pairs of cars will be shipped to Connecticut, where they will undergo rigorous quality assistance tests for several months before also going into regular active service on the rail line.

In total, 300 cars will be delivered to Connecticut for operation on the Metro-North line. These new cars are state-of-the-art and designed specifically for the New Haven-to-New York line rail line and will help to improve service for commuters and consumers who rely on this important service.

Also, as your fiscal watchdog, it's my job to make sure we are getting everything we can from your hard-earned dollars. That's why I've spent significant time in helping to bring accountability to our budget by cutting the fat and waste.

According to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, our current budget cuts more than $3 billion. Since our fiscal situation continues to deteriorate, we must do more. I'm committed to restructuring our government so that it meets the needs of our citizens while spending less and positions us for a strong recovery.

I am keeping a watchful eye and a sharpened pencil on our revenue and spending numbers. It's a job I take very seriously.

We have a lot of hard work ahead of us in Hartford this year, like balancing our budget, creating jobs and positioning our state for an economic recovery -- which means we have a lot of difficult choices to make. Many of these choices won't be popular to special interests or easy to folks who like the status quo, but I believe we must make sure we get an efficient state government that can live within its means.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be visiting the remainder of the stations in my district. I hope to see many of you around Norwalk and Darien, and I appreciate you taking a couple minutes out of your busy morning to catch up with me.