Dear Members of the 85th District,
It has been an honor to represent you these past two years, and I’m seeking your support for another term as your nominee for State Representative for the 85th District. The recently-adjourned legislative session was a productive one for our State of Connecticut and Town of Wallingford. Gov. Lamont and legislators were able to responsibly lower our pension debt, fill the Rainy Day Fund, give financial relief to citizens, municipalities and non-profits; invest in economic growth, address auto theft, fund mental health for children, pass four bills to fight climate change, continue to invest in workforce training, and protect reproductive freedom in our corner of the United States. This is a good record on which to run!
Passing a Responsible Budget:
The rebounding post-COVID economy produced record surpluses, especially from growth in the stock market. We also got help from President Biden and Congressional Democrats in the form of ARPA payments to our state and towns to help economic recovery after the pandemic. We used the stock market tax revenues to fill the 15% Rainy Day Fund and make an extra payment on pension debt.
We enacted several kinds of tax relief, including: a gas tax holiday until December; a property tax relief increase to $300 (and we extended it to taxpayers under age 65); faster elimination of taxes on retirement pensions and annuities (they will be gone as of this year); a CT child tax credit worth $250 per child, a new state tax credit for childcare, and an increase in the EITC (earned income tax credit) for low wage workers.
Wallingford got an increase in municipal aid, which helps pay for our education and public safety services. We also provided free CT Transit bus service April 1-June 30, 2022 for those who don’t drive.
Working with Speaker Ritter, I was able to get funding for Gaylord Hospital to modernize their medical records system, which allows them to better serve patients in this region. We also increased funding significantly for the non-profit sector of our economy, because we had sufficient funds and the non-profits have been seeking help for years.
We invested in the long term retention of Sikorsky Aircraft. The new 20-year bonding agreement will keep Sikorsky in Connecticut through 2042, and help all the small businesses that supply them
Fighting Auto Theft
Because of our location on two major highways, Wallingford has been hit hard by auto and catalytic converter theft, which rose during the pandemic. We passed a bipartisan bill that strengthens penalties for auto theft crimes and increases supervision of juveniles arrested for such crimes. We passed another bipartisan law to eliminate the CT market for stolen catalytic converters.
The pandemic increased rates of mental illness due to social isolation in the months before vaccines became available. We invested in a series of programs and support systems to help children experiencing mental health problems to recover.
After several failed attempts in previous sessions, we were finally able to pass four significant bills to fight climate change. These bills will force cleanup of truck engines to protect children and others in the community from the harmful effects of exhaust, double the amount of solar energy, invest in electric charging stations and clean electric buses, and encourage electric bikes through a voucher for purchase.
In addition to continued funding of job retraining programs including my favorite, Platform to Employment, we also funded a new program to train workers to qualify for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The state will subsidize the tuition for CDL training so no one who wants to train will be denied because they can’t pay tuition. There is a shortage of drivers so this measure also helps the economy.
Even before the leaked Supreme Court draft decision, we knew the right of reproductive decision-making by women without state interference was at risk, and we did not want other states prosecuting our doctors. Our new law protects reproductive rights in CT against legal attacks by other states. Connecticut has dramatically reduced its abortion rate through education and making contraception available, and this year we finally funded long-acting reversible contraceptives at federal health centers.
Many of our actions this year sought to give financial relief for families impacted by pandemic –generated shortages and the inflation that followed. This work to ease people’s lives will continue. I’m also working to finish the linear trail link to Route 150 (Main Street, Yalesville) so bicyclists and pedestrians can travel safely from one side of town to the other. I will make sure our community and state is sustainable in energy, housing, transportation, food and clean water. Fair wages and equal opportunity for all is my standard; no one will be left behind. I will continue to work hard for you and our 350+2 year old community of Wallingford and would be honored to have your support. Please feel free to contact me for any assistance at 203-430-0921 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
May 18th, 2022