ISSUES Let's cut spending! Reduce Taxes! And More!

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ON THE ISSUES

I love my country and I have a consistent record of standing up for the principles that America stands for – keeping government small and preserving our rights to live as we see fit.  I believe in law and order and protecting the civil liberties and constitutional rights of every citizen.  I believe in freedom and opportunity.  I respect and value our military and believe that we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our veterans for our freedoms. I am a firm believer in America’s Constitution and well known as Connecticut’s strongest defender of our 2nd & 10th Amendment Rights.

I still maintain the same concerns I had when I ran for office initially.  Primarily I am concerned about the direction our country and our state are headed. I want future generations to experience an America I would recognize – one where the institution of “family” still exists.  One where we are safe from any potential enemies, where the flag is revered, our soldiers are honored, and finally, an America where a person’s word means something and children are taught to aspire to achieve greatness.

JOBS & THE ECONOMY

My primary mission as a state lawmaker has been and will continue to be holding our elected officials accountable and helping our economy back on track.  I believe strongly that we need to create an environment that encourages business to choose Connecticut.  That means keeping the businesses we have, encouraging startups and having businesses choose to relocate to Connecticut because what we have to offer. This will require smart policies that reduce punitive taxes, burdensome regulation, and needless red tape.  I am also opposed to Governor Malloy’s policies such as the First Five program which takes tax dollars from some communities to offer incentives to businesses in others.  This sets up a dangerous precedent that will cause even more of this activity in the future and further hurt our state’s economy and our ability to create jobs.   Businesses that receive these benefits will certainly take advantage but for how long.  How long until they start looking for the next “incentive”?  And what about the other businesses, who received no such benefit?  This is not the proper role of our state government.

The truth is that our state is in trouble. With multi-million deficits, the highest unemployment in generations and jobs continuing to flee, this is the time to make spending cuts, shrink government and reduce spending.   I will fight for a more strict balanced budget amendment in Connecticut. There is no question it will be difficult but I am committed to the hard work of finding ways to reduce the cost of government.   My Republican colleagues and I have repeatedly offered solid budget alternatives based on sound “Common Sense” principles.

SPEND WITHIN OUR MEANS
  • Reduce spending to what we can reasonably anticipate in revenue without assessing new taxes
  • Abide by the constitutional spending cap
BORROW ONLY WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY BACK
  • Cap bonding levels which result in a debt service of no more than 10% of the annual budget
  • Borrowing should be restricted for public works projects, including school construction, roads and rails, serving the greater public good and creating jobs for Connecticut workers
  • Eliminate earmarks. Fund all projects by competitive grant to be awarded based upon measured return on investment i.e., job creation/economic development
IF IT’S NOT BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT. BUT IF IT’S NOT WORKING, GET RID OF IT
  • Evaluate all state programs every two years
  • Eliminate the program if it does not achieve results

THE MORE GOVERNMENT TRIES TO DO, THE LESS IT DOES WELL

  • Focus on core government functions: Public safety, education, transportation, public health
  • Strive for excellence in each government function
  • Privatize non-core functions
WE SHOULD HAVE ALL THE GOVERNMENT WE NEED, BUT ONLY THE GOVERNMENT WE NEED
  • Consolidate government services to eliminate duplication, excess and waste

The sole purpose of government should be to secure the life and liberty of its people, and to provide for public safety and consumer protection.  I will work to make sure that government does not exceed its limited and proper role.  Opportunity and success are the result of freedom, choice, and the hard work of individuals and entrepreneurs.  Government should merely help establish fertile ground for the people to prosper.

Recent reports show that Connecticut has the highest net tax-supported debt among the 50 states at  nearly $5,000 per capita, according to Moody’s.  Connecticut also has the honor of being the “most taxed state” according to the Tax Foundation.

Our state is still bleeding jobs. Unless some of the punitive regulations and anti-business hurdles are rolled back, Connecticut will remain at a competitive disadvantage.  We should immediately do away with the business entity tax and reduce the recently increased license fees back to their previous levels.  We need to encourage business in Connecticut not stifle it.  I believe that making Connecticut a more business friendly state will result in decreased unemployment and increased tax revenue.

I believe each state agency and department needs to justify its existence to the taxpayers.  Every expenditure needs to be reviewed and justified.  In cases where multiple agencies and departments overlap, cuts need to be made.  Going forward, salaries for state employees should be in line with salaries in the private sector.  This includes  benefit & retirement packages as well.  Privatization in some areas is a viable solution. Local landscaping companies can be contracted to work on state parks vs. state employees at a huge savings to taxpayers.   Connecticut also has one of the most bloated higher education bureaucracies.  There is certainly room to make changes.

I firmly believe that our cities and towns cannot afford ANY reductions in state aid. Any cuts, however small, will only translate into increased property taxes that will hit seniors and working families the hardest.

We should require a super-majority vote to enact any unfunded mandates on municipalities.  These unfunded mandates are what to lead to ever-increasing property taxes and they need to disappear.

The inability of the Governor and legislative Democrats to reign-in spending, cry out for new leadership to make cuts in state spending and bring our budget back into balance. Spending no more than you take in is just common sense.

10-26-17 My speech on the floor of the House last year opposing the lousy state budget that was ultimately voted into law. (VIDEO) I was one of the small number of state legislators who did the right thing and voted NO on the state budget passed last October that we are all living under.  I voted no because 1) This budget increased spending and taxes – and cut aid to the towns I represent.  I would never support such a plan.  2)  It spends millions of dollars on bailing out Hartford and renovating the XL Center at the same time it cut aid to seniors, and 3) It makes no attempt to address our long term financial problems as a state. Amazingly, even on the day this was voted into law, everyone knew it would add to our deficit.

SECOND AMENDMENT

I am a proud American who recognizes that the sovereignty of each individual is paramount, including the individual right to self-protection.  As a member of CCDL and the NRA and also a pistol permit holder who is active in the shooting sports, you can count on me to strongly oppose ANY restrictions to our 2nd Amendment rights.

During the 2011 session of the CT General Assembly, I introduced legislation to make it easier to renew pistol permits (which became law), strengthen our state’s castle doctrine and to allow Sunday hunting.

During the 2013 session of the CT General Assembly, I vigorously opposed Senate Bill 1160 / Public Act 13-3.  This is the comprehensive gun control bill that was passed into law under the direction of Governor Malloy and leaders in both the House and Senate.   You can find video of my speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on the Videos page of this site.  I will continue to work to reverse this onerous legislation and defend our CT State and US Constitutional freedoms.

04-03-18 While vigorously defending the second amendment and the rights of law-abiding gun owners, I offered an amendment in the judiciary committee challenging the Democrats to reverse the bailout of Hartford and use the money to fight gun trafficking, and fund school resource officers and mental health beds.

I support “emergency powers”  legislation that would prohibit the state or any government agency, during a declared state of emergency, from prohibiting or restricting the otherwise lawful possession, use, carrying, transfer, transportation, storage, or display of a firearm or ammunition; seizure or confiscation of a lawfully possessed firearm; or requiring registration of a firearm or ammunition for which registration is not otherwise required by law.

Currently I am working on a bill that would require each municipality in Connecticut to follow the same identical uniform criteria when issuing a temporary pistol permit which is required as part of the process of obtaining your state permit.

I will continue to strenuously oppose any attempt to restrict the constitutional rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners.

IMMIGRATION

04-18-18 My speech on the House floor regarding sanctuary city policies.  Here, I make the only real attempt anyone has made in the last eight years I have been in office at reversing Connecticut’s policy as a sanctuary state.

EMINENT DOMAIN

Our great country was founded on certain core principles.  Individual Liberty is paramount. A close second is Property Rights.  I will fight to strengthen protections against government abuse of eminent domain authority.

ENERGY

As a resident and a ratepayer, I share the common frustration of ever-increasing electric bills.  Much of the cost we pay is based on what I consider to be misguided policy that has been adopted by the state legislature. Contributing factors are a radical, rather than a sensible and gradual, shift to green energy.  Also, a substantial amount of the cost is the result of subsidies to those who cannot afford to pay, and the cost of maintaining the infrastructure to “deliver” electricity to our homes.

Our electric rates are among the highest in the country and it does not have to be that way. I have advocated for a more responsible “all of the above” approach to where we get our energy and more competition among suppliers.

GAS TAXES

I will continue work to reduce Connecticut’s gasoline tax (4th highest in the nation) and cap the “hidden” gas tax known as the gross receipts tax.

THE NEW BRITAIN TO HARTFORD “BUSWAY”

Senator Joe Markley and I led the fight against the New Britain – Hartford Busway (now called CTFastrak) from its inception.  Sadly, the busway has now been completed and is proving to be the waste of taxpayer money we said it would be.  Today, we fight to reduce the dollars it costs to continue to subsidize it’s operations and are open to alternative uses.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS

Along with Senator Markley, I have led the opposition to the Governor’s Executive Orders #9 & #10 which aside from reaching beyond his executive authority and going completely around the legislature also amount to forced unionization of daycare workers and personal care attendants without their consent.  In 2014, we were vindicated as the Supreme Court of the United States declared that parts of this overreaching government policy were unconstitutional.

EDUCATION

Education is a main building block to the foundation of our great nation.  Every child deserves the opportunity for a great public education.  I firmly believe in local control and am opposed to interference from our state or federal governments in the way our community handles education.  We have fine school systems in the 16th Senate District and while there are good intended policies being promoted on a state and federal level, I believe our local Boards of Education are better left to make those decisions.

WORKING FOR OUR COMMUNITY

My record of service is clear.  I have never voted to increase spending or raise your taxes – and I never will.

I have a proven record of defending the towns I represent against actions taken by the legislature and the Governor’s office against them.  I led the opposition to the state budget that passed in October of 2017 that resulted in millions of dollars in reductions to the towns of Wolcott and Southington, as well as cuts to seniors in the Medicare Savings Program.

I led the fight the following session to have this funding restored, both for education and for MSP and was happy to participate in passage of a budget adjustment bill that did just that on the last day of session in 2018.

The towns I have represented have been the recipients of millions of dollars in state grants for STEAP (small town economic assistance projects) and other projects since I have been in office.  I am actually not a fan of this process but I have done my best to make sure the towns I represent get (at least) their fair share of this funding.

ENVIRONMENT

As a former member of the legislatures Environment committee, I have worked hard for a common sense approach to protecting our environment.  I am proud to have worked on legislation to ensure the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals to keep our water supply safe and clean, not to mention remove them from homes as a potential danger to children.  I have also worked on legislation to properly staff our state parks, help identify chemicals of concern to children, set aside open space, and was very involved in the effort to reduce the liability of municipalities with regard to open space.  This translates into less nuisance lawsuits and better use and care of our natural surroundings.