Party affiliation: Democratic Party
Previous elected experience: State Representative-109
Family members in government: My Father is a retired Danbury Police Detective. My mother works for the Danbury School system
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Recovering our economy and jobs from the Corona virus pandemic will be one of the top priorities for the next legislature. I have supported budget policies that will help our State’s financial recovery such as the volatility cap and revenue cap which prevents us from budgeting to the last dollar by requiring a percentage of our expected revenue. Beginning in FY 20 we began setting aside a percentage of collected tax revenue that can not be used for spending. These revenues also end up as surplus which helped grow our Rainy Day Fund.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I have a proven record of results and delivering for Danbury.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
As a legislator representing Danbury I have successfully brought back increased municipal aid and education funding to the city every term I have been in office. These increases in state aid has helped keep the local property tax mill rate lower than other cities across the state. As chair of the energy committee I led passage of strong pro consumer utility reforms one month after the botched tropical storm Isaias response and rate increase from Eversource.
Do you believe Connecticut needs reform when it comes to electric utility oversight? What steps, if any should be taken?
As the House chair of the Energy and Technology committee I was the lead author of the Take Back Our Grid Act which passed on a overwhelming bipartisan vote on September 30th. This pro consumer bill represented some of the biggest utility reforms in over a decade. Some of the highlights include: Restitution for customers from the utilities which are not recoverable through rates, storm response and minimum staffing, increased authority for PURA to hold the utilities accountable, and a new performance based rate making structure. Next session I plan on doing another deep dive into ratemaking principals such as de coupling mechanisms which could help stabilize rates and even lower them.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
While Connecticut benefits from the defense industry that has grown here, we are competing nationally for the retention of these good paying jobs. Unfortunately, despite significant funding from both the federal government and state government, our workforce development system remains scattered and disorganized. We have taken some initial steps to organize the system to be more cost-efficient and responsive to the needs of business. But more should be done so that Connecticut is the talent capitol of the nation. As seen during this pandemic, our state agencies and municipalities are working with outdated technology and communications infrastructure that has hampered our ability to effectively keep people safe. We need to undertake an in-depth review of how constituents interact with state and municipal government.