State Senator District 15

Joan Hartley

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Party: Democrat

CEP Status: nonparticipating

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James Russell

2 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Independent Party

CEP Status: nonparticipating

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Age: 41

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Waterbury

Current Job: UPS Driver

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Education: High School

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Would you vote for a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana? Why or why not?
Yes. Because the state has no constitutional authority to make it Illegal.
How should the state balance the needs of vulnerable populations with the reality of another large budget deficit?
Things like not giving 15.5 million to Waterbury from a credit card would be a start. That is the reason we have large budget deficits. It is time we open Pandora's box and expose waste and we also need to foster good fiscal budgeting so we inspire entrepreneurship from local individuals which is the heart of this state.
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 will always support the free movement of ones money. And if elected I will do my very best to make sure you keep that right and all rights.
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?
It is time the state gets out of the Connecticut residents way and allow them to keep the money they earn. No more income tax or property tax and reduce gas tax and any other tax that is unconstitutional.
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 fully support regional local services.. I think the school system should be rationalized. And I also think we should bring back the elected sheriff and regional sheriff departments.
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?
No. Because it is unconstitutional to demand private businesses regarding things like this. What I do support is stopping the state from over taxing and controlling ones life so then we the people can afford time off and adjust for the ones they love....
Where and how should state government focus its efforts in order to grow jobs?
Repeal income tax, property tax, unnecessary mandates and regulations.
Would you support legislation to "ban the box," prohibiting employers from asking the question about criminal convictions on a job application?
No. But I do think if someone has had criminal convictions and has done everything the courts has asked then that individual should be respected and not discriminated.
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?
I would never agree to tolls if we have a state income tax and property tax.. If we can repeal Income tax and property tax then I would agree to tolls with restrictions.
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?
I believe water is for everyone and also think no company should ever have ANY control of any water....... All water shall be governed by the people of town and city that the water is in.
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?
I believe we should start focusing on reducing mandates and over bearing laws and regulations so the municipalities so they can govern more and this will bring more jobs and then we the people can afford housing.
How should the state address disparities in the Education Cost Sharing formula? What specific modifications would you suggest, if any?
I think all schools should never be controlled by Government. But Connecticut Constitution says education is a right so with that being the case the school system should be regional and also money should follow the student.
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?
opioids used in the correct format helped myself with surgeries that I have had so I do not want to make it very hard for someone that needs it to get it. So Improving access to treatment for addiction is one way and we also need to have an audit system for these treatment centers. No reason for someone to be on methadone for 15 years.