HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is urging lawmakers to work with him to prevent future tragedies like the mass shooting at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.

WATCH: Full Video Of The Address

Malloy became emotional Wednesday as he spoke about the teachers and a therapist who sacrificed their lives to protect students, apologizing after he paused during his State of the State address to gain his composure.

“Let us do everything in our power to ensure that Connecticut never again suffers a loss such as this, that we take real steps to make our kids and communities safer,” Malloy said.

He stressed that “more guns are not the answer” and “freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher.” He said “security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom.”

Malloy has already appointed a panel of experts to overhaul mental health treatment and gun violence prevention.

The Democrat addressed a joint session of the General Assembly on the opening day of the legislative session.

Looming over the heads of state lawmakers is also a $1.2 billion hole in the budget that takes effect in July.

House Minority Leader Larry Cafero said that because of concessions the governor and others made with state unions, layoffs are out. So cutting spending is the only option.

“I do not think we, as a state, one of the highest taxed states in the United States of America just coming off the highest tax increase in our history, can withstand another tax increase,” he told Schneidau.

Some lawmakers say, however, despite the tax hit of two years ago, higher may have to be in the mix.

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