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David Gronbach

Running for State Senator

8 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status: participating

Website:

Age: 45

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: New Milford

Current Job: Attorney/Administrative Judge

Previous Job: Mayor of New Milford

Previous Job:

Education: Pace School of Law/ SUNY Albany

What can be done to improve the business climate in Connecticut while COVID-19 continues to be a risk?
We need to help businesses maintain operations while addressing Covid-19. Financial support in conjunction with the Federal Government is essential in the short-term to keep business operating and workers employed. In addition, there is a tremendous effort to address the staggering impact from Covid-19 involving various industries including, pharmaceutical, technology, and manufacturing ranging from PPE to household items, medical devises, etc. There is a revolution taking place in these industries and Connecticut should help our local innovators and companies respond to the Pandemic not just locally, but nationally and worldwide. In addition, lowering the cost of health insurance for small and medium sized businesses will not only expand access to heath insurance for more workers, but will reduce one of the biggest costs these businesses face.
What specific legislation would you support to reduce racism in Connecticut?
We can start by eliminating policies that support or have a basis in racist ideology. To that end, the Police Accountability Bill is a step in the right direction to address systemic racism in the way criminal laws are enforced, while supporting police officers with training and resources to address crime. I would also support initiatives to address our history of environmental racism whereby polluting power plants and transfer stations are sited in minority communities. One of the best ways to reduce racism is with education and outreach. Therefore, I would support legislation that expands on the teaching of the history of racism, examples of it today, and efforts to eliminate it. Cultural exchanges with students throughout the State are also important to widen horizons and dispel stereotypes. Diversity training offered throughout communities will also help to address bias and racist stereotypes.
With so much uncertainty ahead about COVID-19, how would you ensure that the people's business – both at the legislature and in all of our elections – will be conducted effectively, and with full participation, in the safest possible manner for the foreseeable future?
Our response to the Pandemic has shown that there are safe and effective ways to conduct the People's business, and actually make it more efficient. The expansion of mail-in absentee ballots is a step in the right direction to ensuring more people engage in elections, but there is more we can do. Every person that gets a driver's license, files taxes, or interacts with the State, should automatically be registered to vote. As we return to in-person voting, expanded access to early and absentee voting will expand participation and help avoid the lines prior to and after the normal work day. However, the State needs to provide more support for local registrars to achieve reliable and efficient elections. In addition, the pubic should be able to observe and participate in pubic comment on proposed legislation by video platform.
With higher education facing major changes because of the pandemic, what steps will you take to make sure that Connecticut’s residents have access to college and/or other job training that won’t leave them tens of thousands of dollars in debt?
Our State investment in secondary education is a win/win proposition. I have worked with companies and manufacturers that cannot find the skilled workers they need. Part of the reason is the outrageous debt students and families incur to achieve a college or technical school education. Extending free and pubic education to our State Universities and Community Colleges should be tied with a requirement that a graduate work in Connecticut for a set period of years, thereby creating a highly skilled and technical workforce that keeps those skills in-state. This will help Connecticut business fill the high-skill jobs we have, attract businesses that require skilled workers, and spur innovation and start-ups in our communities.
What is one specific policy you support to help protect African Americans as an at-risk group during the pandemic?
Lowering costs of health insurance and expanding access to medical care.
How can Connecticut lower healthcare costs while also improving quality and access to care?
Connecticut's State health insurance plan has been extended to municipalities and Boards of Education, saving communities millions of dollars. The State Plan can be offered to small to medium sized businesses, which employ the largest number of workers in Connecticut, thereby reducing costs to businesses and expanding worker access to quality healthcare. In addition, the State can bulk purchase medicine and equipment to distribute to residents at cost thereby eliminating the profit motive from life saving medications. Capping insulin costs is a step in the right direction, but leaves other medications people require subject to the whims of our profit driven system. We make Narcan available for free to someone if they overdose, but children with life-threatening allergies need to provide their own medication in school. We need to recognize the wide array of life saving medications people need and ensure people do not die because they cannot afford it.
What should Connecticut do to re-tool our public health for COVID-19 and the possibility of future pandemics, while also addressing other chronic illnesses that put people at risk every day?
Expanding the State health insurance plan to small/medium businesses, thereby reducing the costs to businesses and expanding health insurance for workers; expanding tele-medicine to allow people to meet with their doctor virtually; easy access to testing for Covid-19 at no charge; if someone requires treatment for Covid-19, they should not be forced to choose between treatment and facing bankruptcy. Going forward, Connecticut needs to have testing and medical resources in place to address new outbreaks.
Connecticut’s revenues will sharply decline as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and, unlike Congress, Connecticut has a balanced budget requirement. What changes would you make to balance the budget? (If you want cuts, be specific what will be cut. If you want to raise taxes, be specific about which taxes.)
I do not support any new taxes on middle class and lower income families and senior citizens. In fact, taxes on these overburdened populations should be reduced. As the 1% has reaped millions of dollars from federal tax cuts and bailouts, those profits should be recaptured by the State, especially since we pay more in taxes to the Federal Government than we receive back. If the Federal Government is going to subsidize the South and other parts of the Country with our tax dollars, then Connecticut needs to make up the difference by closing loop holes the 1% exploit.