Share this candidate profile:

Kimberly Becker

Running for State Representative

0 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status: participating


Age: 51

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: North Granby

Current Job: Chair, Granby Education Foundation

Previous Job:

Previous Job:

Education: Master of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University

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?
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?
Seniors deserve to stay in their homes and in their communities. I meet seniors every day who are concerned about losing their homes due to high property taxes. In my work on the Granby Commission on Aging and volunteering at the Barkhamsted Senior Center, I have learned about the real world challenges for seniors. As your State Representative, I will work to cap property taxes for those living on fixed incomes. In order for many seniors to age in place, they need assistance with transportation and equipment such as access ramps and stair gliders. We can address these issues through a mixture of direct subsidies and tax relief.
How do you plan to address the growing long-term care workforce crisis in the state?
Long term care workers work with our most vulnerable citizens: seniors and people who are disabled. These skilled jobs are demanding, both physically and mentally. Families depend on these workers to care for their loved ones with dignity and compassion. In return, long term care workers need to be supported with job training, competitive wages, and access to quality healthcare.
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?
Working with my local towns and senior centers, I will advocate for free or steeply reduced bus passes for seniors, people with disabilities, and military veterans. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, especially for small towns like those in HD 62 which have little to no access to the bus system. For my district, I will advocate for expanded senior bus access to the senior centers, medical appointments, and shopping.
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?
Extreme weather, including flooding along our coastline, poses a real threat to Connecticut’s residents. Extreme weather endangers lives and burdens homeowners with significant property loses. We need to work with all of our communities to help them deal with flooding, drought and other impacts of climate change. I will support science-based solutions to mitigate the impacts to all communities in Connecticut. Our 2nd biggest challenge is to address the long-term health consequences of climate change and pollution. Childhood asthma is closely connected air pollution. I support reducing CT’s reliance on fossil fuels to generate power and invest in clean energy solutions. Not only will green energy improve our cost of generating electricity, but the reduction in emissions will be beneficial for conditions such as asthma.
How can Connecticut's education systems create better outcomes for students in low-income communities?
Students across Connecticut are struggling after the pandemic, both academically and emotionally. Improving access to mental health services and academic supports is critical to producing better outcomes. Additionally, Connecticut needs to invest in its teachers, particularly those of color, by reducing the cost of becoming a teacher and pursuing the advanced degrees needed in the field. I will actively advocate for creative ways to recruit and retain teachers throughout the state, particularly if I am on the Education Committee.
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?
How should the state and its school districts deal with COVID-19 going forward?
School districts and local health districts should work together to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 just as they have throughout the last two years. With vaccines and other as-needed strategies widely available, our local schools have the resources required to keep schools open and safe for students, teachers, and staff.
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?
In the small and rural towns which comprise HD62, we need affordable housing for our seniors to downsize into and that young families can afford. I strongly believe that Connecticut needs to do a better job at keeping our retirees in their communities with options to age in place or downsize. Equally, attractive housing options for young families keeps our schools open and vibrant. Smart development can create opportunities for growth without losing our rural character or our agricultural roots. I am favor of incentivizing zoning changes for smart development, but not state mandates.
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?
We need vigorous enforcement of the antitrust and unfair competition laws with respect to healthcare consolidation. We have extremely high cost healthcare, which hurts families, retirees, and all residents. In the past, we have allowed Hartford Healthcare and Yale New Haven Health to dominate all aspects of healthcare in Connecticut. The loss of access to local healthcare facilities is of particular concern in my district. I will encourage the development of small, independent clinics and healthcare centers in rural areas that can provide some needed competition and I oppose any further consolidation. We need more than one or two giant hospital systems in Connecticut.
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?
PURA, our state regulatory agency, has not been effective in keeping prices down to rate payers. Connecticut is overly reliant on natural gas to generate electricity. In addition, our regulators have been too close to the corporations they are regulating. I would end the revolving door between regulators and the regulated industry. We also need a stronger consumer advocate to make sure profits are returned to rate payers, not outside investors.
What is your position on whether Connecticut should open its election primaries to unaffiliated voters?