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Austin Coco

Running for State Representative

1 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Libertarian Party

CEP Status: nonparticipating


Age: 21

Marital Status: Unmarried

Current Residence: Clinton

Current Job: Student

Previous Job:

Previous Job:

Education: The Morgan School class of 2013

Do you believe public schools in Connecticut require an essential makeover, as outlined by Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher's decision in September? What, in your opinion, is the number-one issue regarding public education in the state?
I would agree that they need a makeover. The biggest issue I believe with our education system is that we need to move away from this reliance on standardized testing, and that this one-size-fits-all approach to education that we adopt because of this reliance on standardized testing is unrealistic and does not prepare students for their future. I would support greater local autonomy of educational curriculums: what works in a suburban town like Clinton may not work in an inner-city New Haven school, and what works there may not work at a regional district school. By allowing a greater degree of autonomy for districts when it comes to curriculum development, a school is more able to meet the needs of the student body. Also, by reducing the number of tests, we give the educators more time to educate their students.
Will you oppose legislation that will require utility customers to subsidize the profitability of merchant generators, such as the Millstone nuclear power plant, unless those merchant generators demonstrate the need to their customers and the state with financial reports that show their actual loss in profits?
I will oppose such legislation; I do not feel that citizens should be subsidizing this.
How would you reduce the state employee pension liabilities and debt service, which together comprise 25% of the state's annual budget?
In regards to state employee retirement benefits, I would push to move state employees onto social security; if it's good enough for the private sector, it's good enough for the state employees.
Does Connecticut have a revenue problem or a spending problem?
Would you support laws that provide for family leave or other workplace flexibility for employees who have to take time off for family caregiving purposes? What proposals would you champion to help family caregivers who are balancing a career and family obligations or health emergencies?
I believe that we should be encouraging a competitive jobs market in our state, and that this competitive jobs market will offer greater benefits for their employees in order to keep said employees, without excess government intervention.
Community College students recently won a reprieve but are facing the possibility of a significant tuition hike. What are you planning to do to ensure that community college remains an affordable option for families?
I believe that we need to make sure that students are aware that there are other options besides a traditional college to gain the experience and skills needed in our diverse workforce. I believe that by encouraging students to explore all options, we will reduce the dependence on these community colleges. I also believe that, by reducing the tax rate that families face in our state, families will have more money to send their kids to school.
What would you do as a state legislator to address the opioid epidemic in our state?
To address the opioid epidemic, I would push for legalization of cannabis. There is research present to suggest that legalization will reduce the rates of opioid abuse in our state.
Today, over 600,000 residents in our state don’t have 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, will you commit to supporting the newly passed Connecticut Retirement Security Act that will provide these workers with access to private payroll deduction IRA accounts?
Yes, I would support this.
Who are you supporting for president and why?
I actively endorse Gov. Gary Johnson. I believe that Johnson and Weld are the only candidates that can actually promote some compromise in our state, and frankly, it's the most experienced ticket for domestic policy. Also, with the Supreme Court question, I believe that they are the only ticket willing to put the most qualified people on the bench, as opposed to making it a political decision to score points for reelection.