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Colin D. Bennett

Running for State Senate

1 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Green Party

CEP Status: nonparticipating


Age: 37

Marital Status: Single

Current Residence: Westbrook

Current Job: Owner, Bennett's Books

Previous Job: Skipper, Sail Connecticut

Previous Job: Marine Science Technician, United States Coast Guard

Education: B.S. Southern Connecticut State University

Do you believe public schools in Connecticut require an essential makeover, as outlined by Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher's decision in September? What, in your opinion, is the number-one issue regarding public education in the state?
Our state faces many, many problems but education must be a priority - it, along with a healthy environment, is the very foundation of society. Reform isn't the answer, our entire educational system needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. We need state-wide standards but they need to be created using common sense and with the best interests of our children. Lobbyists and other corporate representatives should have absolutely no voice in the discussion. First, and by far most important, we need to do everything in our power to make sure every kid in our state succeeds - to be clear that means we need to invest heavily in the schools in our poorest districts (while simultaneously working to wipe out poverty from out state). Finally, we need to work together to find common sense solutions to eliminate our archaic and regressive property taxes in Connecticut which, among having many other benefits, will help level the playing field for our students.
Will you oppose legislation that will require utility customers to subsidize the profitability of merchant generators, such as the Millstone nuclear power plant, unless those merchant generators demonstrate the need to their customers and the state with financial reports that show their actual loss in profits?
I will absolutely oppose legislation that will guarantee the profits of any business including utility companies. Further, I will work to reduce our reliance on inefficient centralized energy and work to make energy independence a reality for homeowners. Our reliance on fossil fuels is driving the climate crisis and we need an immediate transition to clean energy. Not one more mountain needs to be blown up for coal; not one more oil rig needs to be constructed; not one more fracking well needs to be placed; not one more pipeline needs to be built. Fossil fuels are dirty, destructive, and dangerous.
How would you reduce the state employee pension liabilities and debt service, which together comprise 25% of the state's annual budget?
There is no easy answer to this question. In order to address this issue we need to get all relevant parties, including taxpayer advocates, to sit together and figure out a solution that will benefit everyone. We can figure this out but we need to work together; collaboration is key, not competition, or even compromise.
Does Connecticut have a revenue problem or a spending problem?
Would you support laws that provide for family leave or other workplace flexibility for employees who have to take time off for family caregiving purposes? What proposals would you champion to help family caregivers who are balancing a career and family obligations or health emergencies?
Yes, I support laws that provide for family leave and other workplace flexibility options. Although I think these are important issues I would not champion any proposals or legislation during my first term as our state has other priorities.
Community College students recently won a reprieve but are facing the possibility of a significant tuition hike. What are you planning to do to ensure that community college remains an affordable option for families?
All public college should be free. There are myriad ways to make this a reality. We need to figure out what will work in Connecticut. This starts with raising taxes on the rich.
What would you do as a state legislator to address the opioid epidemic in our state?
We absolutely need to decriminalize drugs in this country. Drug use is a health problem, not a criminal problem, and we need to address the so-called opioid epidemic as such. The money that is currently being used to criminalize drug users needs to be spent providing health services. Furthermore, we need to put pressure on the FDA to regulate drug companies in order to keep prescription drugs off of the street.
Today, over 600,000 residents in our state don’t have 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, will you commit to supporting the newly passed Connecticut Retirement Security Act that will provide these workers with access to private payroll deduction IRA accounts?
I am not currently very familiar with the newly passed Connecticut Retirement Security Act but I am generally supportive
Who are you supporting for president and why?
I am supporting Jill Stein because she is the ONLY presidential candidate that is not a corporate puppet.