PRIORITIES

COST OF LIVING

I remember when Connecticut didn’t have an income tax and was a sought-after location to live on the East Coast.  Today, our legislators in Hartford have burdened us with some of the highest property, sales, and income taxes in the nation. In 2019, Money Inc. ranked Connecticut as the sixth most expensive state to live in.  That’s more expensive than our neighbor, Massachusetts.  According to that same article, the cost of living in Connecticut is 8.7% higher than the national average.*

All told, Connecticut levies over 350 taxes and fees.  This raises the cost of living, makes it hard to operate a business, and limits job opportunities.  I will fight to reverse the trend of raising taxes and fees.  I will work to let you keep more of your hard-earned money so that you can continue living here in the state you love. 

*“The 20 Most Expensive States to Live In” by Liz Flynn, Money Inc., May 2019

SMALL BUSINESS

“The cost of doing business is high in Connecticut. The state has an unfavorable business tax climate relative to most other states, and the average monthly commercial electricity bill is well above the national average.”*

Those were the words of USA Today on March 1, 2019. Hartford just doesn’t get it.  A favorable tax climate puts more money in the pockets of people and enterprises, which in turn, promotes investment, development and new business start-ups. 

The fact is, businesses in Connecticut pay higher corporate taxes, property taxes, and labor costs.  This drives up the cost of doing business, which drives up the cost of goods and services, which makes it more expensive to live in this state. The result is that businesses leave the state and the job market crumbles. I will work to develop a more business friendly climate in this state by standing against excessive taxes and regulations. 

* “Looking to start a business? These are the best and worst states for companies” by Samuel Stebbins and Grant Suneson, USA Today, March 1, 2019

HEALTHCARE

My wife has been an RN for over 25 years.  As such, I deeply understand the need for access to affordable healthcare and prescription medication options.  We cannot leave our families, seniors, and vulnerable residents without quality options.  Nor should we burden small business owners with high costs.

I believe that the state must cultivate free-market principles like competition, cost sharing (copays), transparency, consistent pricing for all goods and services, and consumer choice. This state was once known as the “Insurance Capital of the world” because of its robust insurance industry.  I believe the state is still well positioned to work with the insurance industry to cultivate innovative approaches that will provide our residents with incentives and value from their healthcare options.

EDUCATION

The highlights of our educational system should be excellence, access and choice. I believe that education is a deeply personal and local issue. Local school boards, working closely with parents and teachers should determine the curriculum and the educational direction for their schools.  Hartford should not be pushing a “one-size fits all” approach onto our towns.

Additionally, while college may not be for everyone, learning is. I will work to make college and career training programs more available and affordable for our residents. I will also work to locate, create, and fund educational and vocational training grants.   Finally, I will oppose any restrictions on free speech and first amendment rights on the campuses of our public colleges and universities.

TOLLS

I don’t support tolls because they are yet another tax that will hurt our residents. Small businesses contingent on driving around the state will be hurt.  All businesses that make and receive deliveries will be hurt.  Residents like my wife, a home care nurse who spends her day driving around the state, will be hurt.  I pledge something that my opponent won’t, I will not vote for tolls!

The deeper issue with tolls is one of broken trust. I remember when there were tolls on Interstate 95 and Route 15.  I also remember when they were removed and a gas tax was implemented.  We were told that this money would go towards the state’s transportation needs.  Unfortunately, most of the money that was collected never made it to where it was supposed to go.  According to the CT Mirror, from 2007 to 2019, “officials spent more than $1 billion in fuel tax receipts on non-transportation programs, despite often raising these taxes, purportedly to upgrade highways, bridges and rail lines.”*

This broken trust makes the push for tolls look like another attempt to take more money from our collective wallets, with no true intention of spending it on that which it is intended. 

*“Broken promises to fund transportation defined last 15 years” by Keith M. Phaneuf, CT Mirror, Jan 27, 2020

AGING

In my father’s final years he was being treated for several major health issues, including Kidney and Heart failure. He received dialysis treatments three times a week and tired of being shuffled in and out of institutions for care.  His desire was to remain in his home and receive treatment there.  My dad was emblematic of many of our seniors today who are increasingly expressing a desire to remain in their own homes while receiving care. 

I will support measures to increase resources for those served by home and community-based services.  I will seek to increase funding and eligibility for programs like Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders.   I will consider all options for modifying the amount of resources a spouse of someone receiving Medicaid nursing home care may keep.

I will also work to reduce the overall tax burden on our older residents, providing them the option of remaining in the state during their retirement years.   I will work to keep our promise of phasing out state income taxes on pension and annuity income for retirees.  I will work to expand eligibility for the state’s Circuit Breaker and Renters’ Rebate programs.  I will work to provide state income tax deductions for long-term care insurance premiums.

COVID RECOVERY

Recovering from this pandemic offers Connecticut the opportunity to reset our flailing business climate.  We can rebuild on sound free market principles that will stimulate growth and ease the tax burden of our residents and businesses.  

Here’s how I propose that we start this process:

Relief for Our Residents I propose no tax hikes and no new taxes in our next budget. It’s unfair to throw the state’s burden of recovery at our already overtaxed residents and local business owners. Also, it ignores the unprecedented opportunity presented by the overwhelming number of New Yorkers relocating here. This migration will increase our tax base, which will increase revenue. Let’s not drive new and current residents away with overbearing taxes!  

Relief for Small Businesses I believe we should repeal the sales tax for small businesses who need to buy new COVID-appropriate training equipment and apparel. 

I also propose that we reset the Pass-Through Entity Tax on small businesses. The 2019 budget increased this tax from 6.99% to 12.5% costing an additional $150 mill in taxes. I propose returning this tax to 6.99%.

Relief for All Businesses We need to streamline the process for obtaining professional licensing and expand the Apprenticeship Tax Credit for businesses.

POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BILL

The Police Accountability Bill (HB 6004) represents a grievous overreach and handcuffs police officers instead of targeting “bad apples”.  I will work to strip this law of its harmful aspects.   

This includes:

Reduction of Qualified Immunity This measure opens the door for lawsuits and places the financial burden of defending officers on our towns and taxpayers.

Use of Deadly Force This alters the standard of when officers may use deadly force to defend themselves or the public and hinders officers from using deadly force to prevent harmful threats.

Restriction of Military Grade Equipment This provision takes needed tools out of the hands of police officers by restricting items that are used  for search and seizure operations.  This includes items used to locate missing children as well as tracking down criminals.