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?
I represent Milford, which has the distinction of the longest shoreline in all of CT. We see the impacts first hand as storms are increasing in severity and frequency. While CT cannot solve global climate change on our own, we must continue to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels while also continuing to mitigate the impacts of climate change to our shoreline and our environment more broadly. CT should lead by example for other states and jurisdictions on mitigating climate change. I have been working with our local and congressional delegation partners to construct tidal barriers along our vulnerable coastline.
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?
I support exploring more robust public options for healthcare to force competition and ensure that private options are more affordable and sustainable. I support working with our federal partners to continue to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors.
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?
I proudly supported exempting pension and annuities from state taxation for those that earn less than $75k, which ultimately passed. I intend to file a bill to expand that exemption to more of our retirees as well as an additional bill to ensure similar exemptions for social security benefits.
How do you plan to address the growing long-term care workforce crisis in the state?
This is a multi faceted problem, including the high school to career pipeline, front-line worker fatigue after the COVID 19 pandemic, and a number of other factors. Medicaid reimbursements have not kept up with costs which further inhibit the ability of providers to pay our healthcare workers. I support investment on both the front end to enhance the number of candidates entering this sector’s workforce, while also ensuring that our commitment to keep up with costs through our state’s reimbursement for these services to the most vulnerable populations.
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?
I was proud to support and help pass the reduction of the CT gas tax to zero, and I look forward to voting in favor of extending that tax reduction further into the future. I also support additional incentives for the purchase electric vehicles, which will further reduce reliance on gasoline.
How can Connecticut's education systems create better outcomes for students in low-income communities?
As both the son and the parent of certified public school teachers, I know the passion and commitment that our teachers bring to help our students. CT should seek to enhance opportunities for all students in our high schools and our technical high schools with additional partnerships in various industries for work-related skill building and experience.
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?
The Vision Zero Council in CT is an interagency workgroup tasked with developing statewide policy to eliminate transportation-related fatalities and injuries. I voted to establish this council in the 2021 legislative session which is tasked with investigating this very issue and reporting back to the legislature on their recommendations. I look forward to continue working with them to make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
How should the state and its school districts deal with COVID-19 going forward?
COVID-19 should never be taken lightly. While it appears that we have learned to live with this disease and our state’s interventions have proven to be effective, it is important that we continue to carefully consider expert medical advice if/when circumstances with the virus change
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?
Municipalities are best equipped to make decisions on zoning and its enforcement. I do not support the state overstepping its bounds into decisions that I believe should be left to the local municipalities. Many towns, including Milford, have already submitted their affordable housing plans to the state. I enthusiastically support consideration of those locally submitted plans which best reflect the realities and implications to the communities that they serve.
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?
I will continue to seek more community input from Milford and throughout the state on this important issue of healthcare delivery.
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?
Our electric utilities must remember that their top priority is their customers… not their shareholders. The state has already taken several actions to better hold our electric utilities more accountable, but I am in favor of instituting more oversight especially if their performance is not substantially improved. Prolonged power outages are exceptionally dangerous, especially for our elderly and otherwise medically compromised residents. Their safety should NEVER take a back seat to interest in protecting profits.
What is your position on whether Connecticut should open its election primaries to unaffiliated voters?
I do not believe that primaries should be open to unaffiliated voters.
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