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Hilda Santiago

Running for State Representative

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Party: Democrat

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Current Residence: Meriden

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Would you vote for a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana? Why or why not?
I would vote for legalizing recreational marijuana in order to increase revenues.
How should the state balance the needs of vulnerable populations with the reality of another large budget deficit?
The state should keep the main funding for the needs of those most vulnerable and not change the funding. Revenues can increase by increasing the income brackets of the high income earners.
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?
To improve the situation of those who can't afford basic needs, I would increase funding for programs that assist Connecticut residents.
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?
I would support top-down efforts to regionalize local services-- yes and no for the state's obligations regarding ECS.
Where and how should state government focus its efforts in order to grow jobs?
State government should focus its efforts to work collaboratively with the community colleges, universities and high schools. They should also work in partnership with small businesses to increase small business jobs.
Would you support legislation to "ban the box," prohibiting employers from asking the question about criminal convictions on a job application?
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?
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?
To ensure that CT residents maintain control of public water supplies in perpetuity we could set up a task force to study water resources for the state and look at the pros and cons. Also ensure that the state maintains the overall control of the resources.
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?
Tax abatement/tax credits for developers and local municipalities.
How should the state address disparities in the Education Cost Sharing formula? What specific modifications would you suggest, if any?
A study needs to be conducted and reviewed about how disparities can be addressed. Other ideas should be looked at in order to create a formula that's workable for all municipalities.
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?
I believe that all three components are just as important. The over-prescription of painkillers is well publicized but access to addiction treatment has become more readily available as we continue to learn more about how to combat the opioid crisis. Law enforcement also needs additional tools and funding to fight this crisis on a state and local level.
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?
I'd continue the implementation of this program at a state level but people in my district are worried more about putting food on the table and paying their rent.
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?