In 2016 the Connecticut Retirement Security Program was created. It will give over 600,000 residents in our state a way to save for retirement at work. Knowing that employees are 15 times more likely to save merely by having access to payroll deduction, how will you continue the implementation of this important program?
I will support the continuation of this program.
The 459,000 family caregivers in Connecticut provide an estimated 427 million hours of care each year. Nationwide, nearly seven in ten caregivers report making work accommodations because of caregiving, including arriving late/leaving early, cutting back their hours, changing jobs, or stopping work entirely. Would you support a family leave law that provides paid leave to employees who have to take time off for family caregiving purposes?
Yes. This is one of my top priorities.
Would you vote for a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana? Why or why not?
I would support a bill that legalizes recreational marijuana. It is not harmful as some would lead you to believe, and I would rather have it regulated than sold on the streets.
How should the state balance the needs of vulnerable populations with the reality of another large budget deficit?
We must be creative to solve our budget deficit, while not compromising on services for our vulnerable populations. We can still serve our vulnerable populations by transferring some of those state-run services to nonprofits, who can manage and provide these services at a lower cost, with high quality care.
A recent report found 40 percent of Connecticut residents can't afford basic needs such as housing, food, health care, or child care. What would you do to improve their situation?
We should raise the minimum wage to get it closer to an actual living wage so our residents can afford these basic necessities. We also need more affordable housing options, and to codify laws that consider healthcare a right, not a privilege. The issues are all connected and we must make comprehensive changes.
Will you support top-down efforts to regionalize local services with an eye toward more efficiency and reducing the state's obligations regarding ECS and/or other funding for towns? How would you go about it?
Yes, I support regionalizing local services in order to avoid wasteful spending. We can regionalize certain services without losing quality. In terms of ECS funding specifically, we should keep in mind the financial differences between towns across our state, and treat each fairly to ensure every child gets a quality education.
Where and how should state government focus its efforts in order to grow jobs?
The state should focus on growing jobs for today’s world, and investing in the education that will build a skilled workforce that these companies require.
Would you support legislation to "ban the box," prohibiting employers from asking the question about criminal convictions on a job application?
On an initial job application, yes.
Based on estimates that out-of-state drivers would contribute 30-40% of overall revenue if highway tolls are implemented in Connecticut, would you support tolls with or without offsetting cuts in the state's gas taxes?
I would not support highway tolls for our residents. There are other ways to support transportation infrastructure funding besides taxing our residents further. I’d like to see out-of-state drivers and trucks pay their share for the wear and tear they put on our roads, but avoid further burdening our in-state drivers.
Eversource and some out-of-state entities appear to be attempting to buy control of Connecticut's water resources, and some of our quasi-public water agencies have signed away large amounts of water to commercial interests with little regard to future water shortages. What can you do to ensure that Connecticut residents maintain control of public water supplies in perpetuity?
I would like to see our laws spelled out clearly that we will protect our public water supplies, and consult experts and scientists when deciding whether and how to sign away any amount of water.
Much of Connecticut is economically and racially segregated because many towns lack affordable housing and local zoning regulations prohibit multi-family dwellings. How would you propose incentivizing municipalities to start allowing multi-family units and other affordable housing options?
Affordable housing will not help economically segregated housing. We need more low income housing as well as more senior and disabled housing. We need the Dept. of Housing to push for more with their developers. There needs to be a well thought out plan. As far as incentivizing municipalities, I think that we should instead investigate penalizing them. With us facing a $4.6 billion deficit I'm not sure that it's practical to think that we can devote money to towns that don't allow affordable housing when many do and are not incentivized. Perhaps developers are the ones that need to be incentivized to build since the income derived will be less.
How should the state address disparities in the Education Cost Sharing formula? What specific modifications would you suggest, if any?
The 2017 ECS changes did make positive modifications that better reflects our town’s true needs, and brought more aid to Milford. A change I would suggest is reducing the amount of mandates the state places on municipalities, so that towns and cities can make the best decisions for their specific school districts.
Should the government's response to the opioid crisis be to focus on law enforcement to stop drug dealers, or improving access to treatment for addiction and reducing the overprescription of painkillers?
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