Share this candidate profile:

Kurt Miller

Running for State Comptroller

4 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Republican

CEP Status: participating

Website: www.kurtforct.com

Age: 48

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Seymour

Current Job: First Selectman

Previous Job: CUNA Mutual Group

Previous Job: Plymouth Rock Assurance Company

Education: Southern Connecticut State University, Bachelor's Degree

Facebook: Kurt For State Comptroller

Twitter:

Instagram: KurtForCT

Snapchat:

Periscope:

What is the single best way for Connecticut to reduce the cost of state government while still honoring labor agreements?
Connecticut's stagnant economy over the last couple of decades has created an atmosphere where expanding government is far out-pacing growth in the private sector, including taxpayers' own personal wage growth. Rather than downplaying the fact that people and businesses are fleeing the state at an alarming rate, and thus taking their taxable incomes with them, we must make structural changes to our and tax and regulatory structure to increase the number of taxpayers in our state. Until that happens, meeting the state's obligations will continue to be a struggle.
How would you help to better manage the state's finances to avoid the structural deficits that are continually built into the budget?
One-time revenues and gimmicks is simply not a strategy that will long-term for our state. We need to create an environment friendly to investment and job creators in order to actually increase taxable economic activity. Clearly, the current administration has pushed the state beyond the point of diminishing return when it comes to taxes and regulations. We must reverse course, smartly, in order to be able to end the state of permanent budget crises.
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?
Any policy aimed at increasing workers’ ability to save for retirement is well-intended and a step in the right direction. We know that having an automatic payroll deduction makes it 15 times more likely that an employee will save for retirement. We also know that if workers save an additional $1,000 per year, the state government could see up to $90 million in savings over the next 15 years. Given the budget deficits we have been facing every year, this would be a step in the right direction. It is important that we encourage employees to save, as well as employers to assist in their employees’ retirements. While the plan needs some small changes to ensure it is not a burden on job creators, I support the movement to help workers save for retirement.
What changes would you make to lower the cost of state employee healthcare?
We need to take a holistic approach when it comes to providing healthcare to our state employees. All of the stakeholders - labor, management, and insurance companies - need to come together in a meaningful way to develop a sustainable plan that works for our employees and their families, as well as the taxpayers of our state.
If elected, what are your top priorities in terms of what you will try to accomplish over the next four years?
I look forward to working with the executive and legislative branches of our state government to acquire an accurate overall view of all state spending and to work with our elected officials to ensure taxpayer money is being spent wisely, prudently and properly. One of the first items of business would be a forensic audit of the state prescription health plan and of all general obligation bonding approvals over the last decade. Any waste, fraud or abuse must be rooted out in order to get our state finances on a path to solvency.
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?
As we talked about with creating ways for workers to save more for their retirements, we should also incentivize employers and employees to help make caring for family members more manageable for our families. By allowing employers to voluntarily offer paid family leave and to be able to take advantage tax credits, we could help address this issue. Also, allowing employees who set money aside for family care leave situations to receive some tax benefit would be helpful in these situations. Mandating paid family sick leave may sound appealing, but the damage it would do to Connecticut’s already grim economy would be truly devastating.