When I moved to Connecticut over 20 years ago after leaving the Air Force, I was looking for a place where I could raise a family and have opportunities for a good career. There is no question in my mind that Connecticut is an amazing place to live, but high taxes and fees continue to send businesses and residents out of the state. We just can’t stand by and watch one-party rule continue to hold us back from the economic recovery we deserve and we cannot afford another lost decade.
I have a track record of supporting legislation that would make Connecticut more affordable by keeping taxes low and living within our means. I stood up against policies that were purely political and not in the interest of our residents. Despite my distain for many of the policies pushed through by the majority, I found allies on both sides of the isle to create responsible legislation that has meaningful purpose, other than getting politicians re-elected.
Below are some key issues facing our state and my positions on them:
Today there is a growing group of legislators in Hartford who are doubling down on the same policies that have held us back from the economic recovery that we deserve. Their solution to our crisis is more taxes disguised as tolls and fees and promises of property tax reform that have not been kept. What’s worse, is when good ideas are brought up by the minority that could actually improve policies like family leave, their ideas are ignored. Basically, since minority votes are not needed, good ideas are left on the cutting room floor. I will leave the partisan politics to Washington.
I intend to work for the economic security of the Connecticut residents by supporting policies that prioritize state spending that actually make Connecticut an affordable place to work and live and I will not support passing more expenses down on municipalities. I will also push for income and property tax reform that makes sense and is not based on political agendas. If we work together, we can improve our infrastructure, protect our environment, improve our schools and achieve goals for public health and safety without breaking the bank.
In an effort to save money some members of the legislature are pushing for forced school regionalization. The notion that regionalization always equals cost savings is not proven, so why take a cookie cutter approach to regionalization when in some instances the impact on communities will be negative?
I will advocate for policies and deregulation that supports opportunities for towns to voluntarily work together to share resources if the communities decide it’s in their best interests. I will work to improve education and I will fight attempts by the majority in Hartford to hold municipalities hostage by holding vital funding back for not complying with legislative mandates.
While many residents of small towns across the state support the creation of affordable housing and sharing the opportunity for others to join their communities, the hyper-partisan legislature continues to ignore the will of the communities and is pushing to remove any ability for local zoning to affect the character of communities and open the door to more predatory development.
I will also continue my work for affordable housing opportunities that do not strip away the local character of towns in favor predatory development. There are plenty of opportunities to support our schools, share resources and create opportunities for affordable housing if we check the ideology at the door and work together for common-sense solutions.
One of the most pressing issues facing Connecticut is the epidemic use of addictive pain medications and illegal narcotics. More people die in Connecticut every year from drug overdoses than car accidents. While we have improved our emergency response through access to the anti-overdose medication Narcan and we are improving treatment and recovery options, the opioid epidemic continues to grow. A large part of our effort in the last few years has also been focused on limiting prescriptions of opioids, yet prescription rates were actually declining from 2012 to 2017 as opioid use and overdoses were increasing. While limiting the number of pills that can be prescribed is reasonable, we should balance that approach with the need for pain relief for legitimate patients.
I will continue working for opportunities to stem the tide of opioid deaths, like supporting the use of new medications as alternatives to traditional opioids and more vigorous prosecution of those who traffic opioids.