What can be done to improve the business climate in Connecticut while COVID-19 continues to be a risk?
Federally, the solution would be instituting a temporary Universal Basic Income which would serve to keep people in their homes, rents paid and provide a much needed community - based stimulus.
In Connecticut, as in all states, it gets complicated. However, states can implement an emergency basic income and should be proactive in doing so. That would be an attractive stimulus and may serve to both retain and draw people to the state.
What specific legislation would you support to reduce racism in Connecticut?
I would support legislation to increase hires of minorities in public schools across the state and in police forces. Outside of our cities, we do not have much minority representation.
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?
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?
As a former educator, I am 100% behind initiatives getting our children better trained to enter the workforce with 21st century skills. Right now, I am partnering with stakeholders in my community to build a STEM program which would give our kids the chance at internships with local manufacturers and the opportunity for apprenticeships upon graduation.
Connecticut has the legislation in place for districts to already be taking the reigns in giving our children non-college alternatives and it needs to be in place everywhere.
What is one specific policy you support to help protect African Americans as an at-risk group during the pandemic?
How can Connecticut lower healthcare costs while also improving quality and access to care?
Ideally, we look to other states for ideas. The New York Health Act which proposes universal coverage in the state. The "how do you pay for it?" is answered succinctly and the costs of fraud, waste and abuse which balloon costs are taken out of the system.
That said, if working within the current system I see : transparency of medical costs to lessen the scope of abuse, increased virtual appointments over in-person doctor visits for simple visits, having prescription drug companies justify - and be approved for - increases in drug pricing are ways to lower costs and improve access.
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?
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.)
CT has been treading water for decades - our cities do not attract employers and , in fact, they are leaving - not necessarily for lower taxes as for inability to attract employees to their CT locations. Add to this - people turning 65 average 10,000 nationally a day and by 2030, all Baby Boomers will have reached that threshold.
So, the present mix is: Covid weakened economy, young people leaving, older workers retiring, no game plan to attract new employers & keep our young people here.
With the the projected increases in retirement comes an opportunity : state payroll savings with fewer personnel .
Our marginal tax rate for our wealthiest residents is lower than that of neighboring New York and Massachusetts and even a slight increase would provide relief to our budget.
With COVID, we must tread carefully as many of our residents our treading on financial thin ice and need relief not taxes or losses in benefits.
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