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Kenneth Richards

Running for State Representative

0 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Republican

CEP Status: participating


Age: 35

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Mystic

Current Job: EMS Administrator

Previous Job: EMT

Previous Job: Hotel Manager

Education: Liberal Arts Degree

Would you vote for a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana? Why or why not?
Working in emergency services, I would have to look at more data on this subject, as I can see pros and cons. My concern would be how if legalized to implement with out increasing the size of government.
How should the state balance the needs of vulnerable populations with the reality of another large budget deficit?
I think we need to take a hard look at our expenditures, we currently have an increase in revenue so clearly it is a spending issue. I think all departments need to be looked at, CEP needs to be modified (possibly reduced) I think we need to look at stopping the legislators pension and healthcare paid by tax payers. We also need to evaluate how to streamline operations, we have huge overtime costs in our non emergency services state jobs that we should have better control on.
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?
I think we need to look at our basic needs, our state currently ranks near the top for highest taxes, we need to reduce spending and in doing so reduce taxes on all constituents. Adding tolls is not a solution to our deficit, this will add to the burden our constituents already face, we need real solutions, spending cuts and reduction in the size of government.
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?
I am a firm believer that the time has come for our 169 towns to start regionalizing starting with education, this includes consolidation of school districts. Our state has plenty of examples of where this would greatly change the landscape and improve our efficiency, an example is Waterford High School and New London High School they are practically in each others back yards, consolidation of the schools could lead to nicer larger schools with larger sports offerings, recreation fields and learning opportunities.
Where and how should state government focus its efforts in order to grow jobs?
I think the state government needs to start focusing on the technical high schools, training kids for the work force vs college, there are so many blue collar jobs that are left unfilled due to the lack of skilled workers. I look at my cousin, she attended Ellis Tech, graduated and went to work for a machine shop right out of school making over 18.00 an hour with benefits. These are the jobs we need, we have spent so much time and energy telling kids college college college, and when they finish with their degree there is no job for them and they are left with useless degrees along with massive student loan debts.
Would you support legislation to "ban the box," prohibiting employers from asking the question about criminal convictions on a job application?
I would have to think about this more.
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 do not support tolls, what the Democrats are telling their constituents is that our gas tax had increases in revenues near the 2.5 billion mark in the last 3 years, due to changes in driving habits and sales of less efficient SUV's, they also do not tell you that their plan includes increasing the gas tax along with the tolls. I think we need to stop pulling money out of the transportation fund to pay for their liberal agenda, and their fantasy bus lines that no one uses.
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 fight any out of state entities trying to take over, being an Eversource customer I can tell you they are all about the profit not the person, every year the electric and gas bills go up and the service goes down. A prime example is the amount of time it continually takes Eversource to restore services after a large storm, they like our current legislators can't manage basic functions, so we should provide them more powers.
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?
We should start by equal distribution of funds, we spend more on our cities then our rural towns. IF we start a more balanced grant system that would allow the rural towns to have monies to start these projects, it could help people decide move from the cities to the rural towns.
How should the state address disparities in the Education Cost Sharing formula? What specific modifications would you suggest, if any?
The state should address these problems based on performances of the systems, and award based on the abilities to increase graduation, grades and attendance.
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?
I believe we need to stop the opioid crisis at the source, the dealer and your federal legislators who are back by huge pharmaceutical companies who make large profits on the sales of pain killers. This issue doesn't create a shock and awe effect so our Democrat leadership tends to ignore, we can't ignore this, we need to arrest the dealers, get the repeat offenders the assistance they need and find a cure for the disease of addiction.
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?
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?