By MIKE CHAIKEN
Henri Martin, the incumbent Republican in the 31st state senate race, has filed the paperwork to run again this November.
The 31st covers Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.
The past two years found Martin in a state senate evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. It was also a year where the debate over the state budget was heated, between both parties, and between the General Assembly and the governor.
Despite the rancor, Martin said, “I have decided to seek a third term for State Senate because it’s critical to restore fiscal responsibility at the capitol. Some believe Connecticut is insolvent. With a lurking $4 billion deficit project in biennium years 2019-2020, they may be right. So solving the annual budget deficit is still the problem.”
“Implementing profound reforms is necessary in order to restore and move Connecticut into fiscal responsibility and economic growth,” said Martin via email. “We had some success during the last legislative session in requiring the state to control spending…My goal is to continue working for reforms that will make our state successful.”
Serving the district for three terms, Martin said, “Two things have been most fulfilling to me.”
“The first is being instrumental in introducing or changing legislation that positively affects a family,” said the Republican. “For an example, in my first term, a mother had given birth to twins prematurely. The infants were transferred to another hospital. However, the mother was denied or not granted insurance pre-authorization to transfer with her babies. Sadly, one of the twins died. The mother wasn’t there to comfort and hold her child. Heart wrenching. As a result, legislation was passed that states ‘no pre-authorization’ is required for a mother to follow her baby when a transfer to another hospital is needed.”
“The second is the beginning of the fiscal structural changes we adopted in the recent budget,” said Martin. “Some of the goals I had heading out to Hartford included addressing the spending cap, bonding cap, eliminating social security tax, phasing out the tax on pension income. In addition, a welcome surprise was the volatility cap, which requires us to put any unexpected revenue gains into paying our long term debt or into the rainy day fund instead of paying current bills or funding more special interest programs.”
If he is reelected, the Republican incumbent said he wants to “help continue to refocus our state government on things that matter most: keep fiscal responsibility on the forefront and continue to identify and push for policy changes that will ease the burden on the tax payer and businesses state wide. Doing this will instill public confidence and mend our state economy.”
Martin said he wants to be part of the solution by “listening to all points of view and ideas regardless what side of the aisle they came from. The recently adopted budget wasn’t perfect. Both sides respectfully explained their reasons for certain policies while dutifully listening to the other side’s point of view.”
“If we’re going to move Connecticut toward the path of fiscal responsibility and stability, and initiate economic growth, legislators will need to continue to solve Connecticut’s fiscal mess together. I want to be part of it,” said Martin.
With three terms under his belt, Martin said his perspective of public service has changed. “I have a better understanding of what it means to be the 31st district’s advocate at the capitol.”
“When first elected, being the voice for my district was somewhat an abstract concept,” said Martin. “But meeting constituents… has brought me a greater awareness and empathy for the daily struggles, frustrations and challenges my constituents face. They also have shared their ideas for solving state issues with me. I feel better prepared to talk to my legislative colleagues because of their real life examples.”
No Democrat has stepped forward to run against Martin in the 31st. But Ajmal Mehdi of the Independence Party has registered a candidacy to challenge the incumbent.
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver.com.