The Observer asked the candidates three questions. They were given the option of answering one to three of them as long as their total word count did not exceed a number assigned by paper.
The questions were:
A: What should the General Assembly do over the next two years to help the state economy?
B: There has been a lot of finger-pointing this election at the president and our departing governor. Why are either figure relevant to the problems of Connecticut?
C: Other than the economy what are the top issues the General Assembly must address in the next two years. Why?
77th House District
- Finding ways to increase revenue while controlling spending is going to be at the top of all legislator’s agenda’s in the 2019 session. It’s paramount. At the same time, we cannot afford to lose focus and forget about the day to day issues of Connecticut residents. An issue extremely close to my heart is work force training. Having worked in the education system for 25 years, I’ve seen so many students unsure of their life path simply because they didn’t see college as an option and didn’t know where to turn. Combine that with the fact that a state school like Central Connecticut State University is predicting that this year’s class of freshman will pay $102,000 for a four year degree, and the reality becomes that college isn’t the logical next step that it used to be. We need an earlier approach to let our youth know that careers in HVAC, electric, auto mechanics, and manufacturing are viable.
How do my thoughts and ideas differ from my opponent’s?
I would hope that we can agree that we need to get spending under control and increase revenue. I also think that we can agree that it is in our best interest to stay connected with our local government since a state representative’s job is to advocate for resources to bring back to the district they represent. At the same time, a look at her voting record shows some stark differences between us. Like most fathers of daughters, I want a world in which my three girls have equal opportunity in all that they do. When the House of Representatives voted in bipartisan fashion to approve the pay equity bill which empowered women, Cara Pavalock D’Amato voted against it.
When the House Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a bipartisan budget 142-8, my opponent was the only legislator from Bristol to vote “no.” With all of the momentum in our city, a “no” vote would have left projects like Memorial Boulevard at a standstill. We needed it to pass, and I would have extended both hands across the aisle rather than to cast a vote that would have negative impact on our city.
There are revenue streams available and it’s time to put creative thinkers at the table to bring them to fruition. Sports betting is a prime example. We should have proactively sat with the tribes so that when the Senate turned the rights back to the states, we would be ready to deliver. There is still time. The state of New Jersey took in $40 million in July, while we were still having the discussion. We have to move the needle now.
In closing, I would like to thank all of the residents that I have had the pleasure of talking with and meeting during my time walking the neighborhoods. I appreciate every idea that you have posed to me and if elected I will do my best to work with everyone to see what we can put into place.