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 believe we have an opportunity for rebalancing in state education funding given the court decisions. I believe there are inequalities and inequities in the current system, especially in lower wealth communities.
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?
How would you reduce the state employee pension liabilities and debt service, which together comprise 25% of the state's annual budget?
There is a pay down schedule that the state is following currently. Additionally, CT will need to adjust and contribute more to pension payments. We can also alleviate pension pressure by extending the current payment plan.
Does Connecticut have a revenue problem or a spending problem?
Connecticut has a revenue problem, just look at our tax expenditures. It also has a chronic fiscal volatility situation and that can only be addressed by stabilizing the revenue side of the budget. Our tax system needs a long overdue overhaul.
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?
1. yes. 2. One of the most challenging roles is that of a family caregiver. I believe we as legislators can help by understanding what a system of care is. This includes working with stakeholders in our communities who can provide help and assistance with caregiving and consumer information as well as choices for this care. Caregivers should be informed by practitioners as well as options for caregiving that are affordable.
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?
Our community colleges are currently an affordable way for students to obtain a higher education degree in Connecticut. I would like to have an incentive plan for higher education in our state that will allow tuition to be waived by the state for those in-state students with a B average or better to attend our public colleges and universities. I believe we have a challenge to keep recent graduates in our state and developing an incentive package that includes a requirement to stay in the state for a number of years after graduation would benefit both the student and our economy.
What would you do as a state legislator to address the opioid epidemic in our state?
I have worked on and passed legislation over the last three years to combat the opioid epidemic in our state. I will continue this work by offering more treatment opportunities in our behavioral health system. One of the biggest obstacles to a pathway off of misuse is the lack of immediate services when a person needs it. If you are ready to get help, waiting two or three weeks to get treatment is no help at all.
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?
Who are you supporting for president and why?
I am supporting Hillary Clinton. I believe she is the most qualified person for the job of President of the United States.
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