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?
Protect and maintain it. One of the best things we've done to help aspiring middle class working families.
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?
I co-sponsored the bill in the past, and intend to continue my effort to make the family value of caring a reality.
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?
It's 50% here in Danbury. When the federal government gives away tax revenue to big corporations, who use the money to buy back their own stock instead of raising wages or hiring more workers, well, it's wrong. The answer is investing in career (not merely jobs) opportunities.
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?
The biggest waste of taxpayer dollars in Connecticut is the duplication of services in 169 municipalities. The greatest savings will come from consolidation and reform along regional lines. Time for those municipalities to step up and join in mutual regionalization.
Where and how should state government focus its efforts in order to grow jobs?
Invest in transportation, invest in other infrastructure, invest in career (not merely job) training, and invest in cities.
Would you support legislation to "ban the box," prohibiting employers from asking the question about criminal convictions on a job application?
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?
No. I've opposed tolls, There is a question on the ballot about the 'lockbox' that is, in effect, a referendum on tolls. Still we need to have a serious discussion about revenue for transportation improvements.
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?
Perpetuity is too a long time. For my lifetime, we must prohibit such practices statutorily.
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?
Strengthen, not weaken, the affordable housing statutes. Provide incentives, including tax breaks, to promote builders to invest in affordable housing. Ban municipal moratoria on construction of affordable housing.Reform the property tax system. Repeal the conveyance tax on homes.
How should the state address disparities in the Education Cost Sharing formula? What specific modifications would you suggest, if any?
I voted against budgets that took money way from Danbury to give it to Greenwich, Darian and New Canaan. What an absurdity. I would work with my colleagues to fix it.
Would you vote for a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana? Why or why not?
Yes. It has become clear that marijuana prohibition, like that of the 20th century for alcoholic beverages. doesn't work. Indeed, it created a similar reaction that strengthened organized crime. Time too legalize, regulate, and tax as we do the other so-called sin taxes.
How should the state balance the needs of vulnerable populations with the reality of another large budget deficit?
The state, as the nation, is on the wrong track. The history of the 20th century was about raising workers into the middle class. The history of the 21st century is attacking workers and pushing them down and out of the middle class. Let's revisit some of the policies of the 20th century and adopt them to our current situation.
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?
Let's help those who are addicted, not punish them. Punishment must be provided for those who exploit the addicted, such as dealers and providers.
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