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Anne Hughes

Running for State Representative

2 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status: participating


Age: 57

Marital Status: married

Current Residence: Easton

Current Job: Coordinator of Center for Elder Abuse Prevention

Previous Job: Program Director of HousingUs

Previous Job: Director of Silver Lake Conference Center camp and retreat center

Education: Master of Social Work


What action(s) will you take to reduce out-of-pocket drug costs and reduce the impact of the cost of prescription drugs on taxpayers and insurance premiums?
CT must lead the way of the country with implementing in 2023 the negotiating drug prices that was passed in the federal American Inflaction Reduction Act. We must pass legislation that addresses the Big Pharma's in-house PBM's, that provide no value to the patient. We must work with our congressional delegation to invest in low-cost health access options like a public healthcare option (currently provided under CoveredCT and on the exchange), but an affordable small business, individual option to purchase into the state employees health plan as negotiated by the Comptroller, eliminating private overhead administration costs.
In these inflationary times, what will you do to help ensure that Connecticut’s middle-income retirees on fixed incomes are able to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets?
Expand EITC and make permanent, expand and make permanent the child tax credit, have CT Supplement/increase the municipal tax relief to seniors and retirees with savings from the paying down Ct's debt liability. Fully find PILOT, eliminate the car tax; resource DRS to ensure the hyper-wealthy and wealthiest corporations pay what they owe to CT like the rest of us, to invest in CT public good/services: water, sewer, transportation and fully fund equitable public education across all our zip codes. And raise the top corporate marginal tax rate on corporations over 10 billion annual profit; tax digital downloads/online marketplace like brick and mortar main street shops; close carried interest loopholes, level regional and off-shore tax floor to ensure minimum tax rate/investment in Ct's services and infrastructure.
How do you plan to address the growing long-term care workforce crisis in the state?
pay them what they deserve, including sick time, vacation, healthcare and retirement.
Gas prices are higher than ever, which is difficult for older adults on fixed incomes. Yet, alternatives to cars in Connecticut are limited. What will you do to help older adults access other forms of transportation?
expand public mobility as a service; expand Medicaid coverage to include transportation to Adult Day Centers, non-medical appointments, find a better contract provider than VEYO.
What are the two most urgent problems facing Connecticut within the context of climate change and the environment, and what will you propose to solve them?
Invest/pivot HARD to renewable energy: build offshore wind hub/land-based careers, expand/lift cap on tax credits for solar, geothermal both residential and commercial, modernize environmental standards and enforcement of polluters; demand Environmental and Climate Impact Statement on proposed legislation; separate DEEP, Environmental Protection Agency should have its own qualified staff, resources, enforcement, and not tied to the fossil fuel/energy sector; propose policy through a climate resiliency lens, with a circular economy, incentivize economic entities to include true, life-cycle cost in their analysis, include cost of responsible disposal, recycling in the cost of doing business; demand Amazon take back all their cardboard/packaging and re-use
How can Connecticut's education systems create better outcomes for students in low-income communities?
embed trades and apprentice programs, theater arts, music, advanced manufacturing, IT in high school campuses, site and invest in 'on-ramps 'to good paying careers with benefits within low-income communities; fund debt-free community colleges, make UConn tuition-free for in-state low-income students demonstrating college-ready aptitude
Pedestrian deaths spiked a few years ago and remain high, and it's fairly clear that driver behavior, such as distracted driving, is only getting worse despite significant efforts by law enforcement to stop it. How can Connecticut's streets be made safe for pedestrians and bicyclists?
We need to mobilize community will to make more pedestrian/bike friendly towns, invest in bike paths, traffic calming measures, slow down commuting, invest/support more multi-modal transportation, extend fare-free buses, etc.
How should the state and its school districts deal with COVID-19 going forward?
Invest in PPE, testing, extend paid sick time for teachers, workers, on-site vaccination, invest in clean air ventilation in public spaces like schools, nursing homes, encourage masks indoors as a cultural norm default, especially when feeling unwell, incentivize more open-air spaces for gathering
What should be done on the state level to further address Connecticut's lack of affordable housing? Do you support, for example, mandating or incentivizing towns and cities to alter their zoning codes to be friendlier to affordable housing?
Prioritize and incentivize and fund Public (state) investment in small, creative affordable housing clusters/continuum of housing within existing neighborhoods, especially suburbs, for multi-age, accessible housing. Not leaving up to developers, invest in public infrastructure for affordable housing pockets stock: water, sewer, broadband in micro-neighborhoods of single, 2 bedroom options for singles, graduates, seniors, divorced families, within every municipality.
What can be done to prevent excessive consolidation of the healthcare industry and the loss of services – or, in some cases, the loss of small hospitals themselves – in the state's rural areas?
Strengthen licensing standards of hospitals, mandate tax-exempt hospitals provide essential community services like Labor and Delivery, pull federal dollars for funding/investment for more and expand FQHC's to provide annex services like L/D, and funding provide specialty care clinics like dental surgery/ treatment, diabetes treatment; deny CON's for consolidation, deny vertical equity investment in healthcare monopolies.
Do you think the state's two major electric utilities (Eversource and United Illuminating) are sufficiently regulated? If not, what measures would you take to ensure that consumers are protected to the greatest extent possible against prolonged loss of services and unfair rate increases?
Nope. Re-claim public utilities as public good, and regulate accordingly.
What is your position on whether Connecticut should open its election primaries to unaffiliated voters?
Would you vote for a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana? Why or why not?
I would definitely consider it, but am concerned by the recent report from SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) 'Projected Costs of Marijuana in CT' regarding increased regulatory costs, drugged-driving fatalities, injuries, property damages, workplace costs, absenteeism, workplace injuries, and short and long-term health consequences that need to be carefully weighed in the face of shiny revenues, which may not outweigh the fiscal costs and harm impact on the roads and in the workplace.
How should the state balance the needs of vulnerable populations with the reality of another large budget deficit?
We must safeguard the needs of vulnerable populations by finding responsible ways of diversifying revenues, pooling new revenues, commercial and e-commerce revenue or state and municipal land/building lease revenues into regional community use, to widen the tax bases throughout the region, not just within the zip code. We must look for ways to incentivize/require good corporate citizenship, that invests into the needs of the community the entities are centered and do business in. We must look for ways to consolidate administrative costs, using 'money follows the person' model, rebalancing model, and community-based services, while advocating for more federal dollars of reimbursement costs to state. If we can spend trillions of dollars in endless war costs, (incurring generations of federal debt) we must spend the resources we are actually generating on first taking care of the neediest. And I hear many constituents echo the same: we are willing to care for the most vulnerable of our 3.7 million CT residents, if we have transparent accountability from our CT and federal government that our resources are really going directly towards these necessary services.
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?
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?
Where and how should state government focus its efforts in order to grow jobs?
Would you support legislation to "ban the box," prohibiting employers from asking the question about criminal convictions on a job application?
Yes, though I would still encourage voluntary disclosures in job application, and encourage employers to conduct thorough background checks for all human service workers, law enforcement, corrections, child care, elderly and disabled care positions.
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 would support SMART electronic tolls, with congestion pricing, preferred in-state commuter rates, limited to borders, I95 and I 84 and I 91 arteries, and would analyze carefully lowering the state gas tax in tandem with implementing tolls, so that trucks using our highways as pass-through corridor would have incentive to fill up in in-state fuel stations.
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?
We must legislate stronger protections of public resources, especially water, and strengthen regional authority over natural resources, ecosystems and fragile coastal areas that are threatened by corporate interests. We must strengthen the 'commons' authority of public resources to public/common control: and increase regulatory fees and public futures' safeguards for leasing, use and profiting of corporations.
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?
How should the state address disparities in the Education Cost Sharing formula? What specific modifications would you suggest, if any?
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?
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?