What I’ve Heard in My First 100 Days as State Senator

April 22, 2013

I have been a Connecticut state senator for 100 days. During that time, I have held 13 Town Hall meetings in each of the towns I represent. I have also taken tours of five manufacturers in the area, getting a firsthand look at what they do and hearing their concerns about the business climate in Connecticut.

These meetings were a priority for me. I wanted to meet face to face with area residents and job creators. I listened to their concerns about the future of our state. After talking with taxpayers from Clinton to Colchester, from Westbrook to East Hampton, and from Old Saybrook to Portland, I have heard some consistent messages loud and clear:

  • You want to see more fiscal responsibility from your state government.
  • You want state government to live within its means and to eliminate the wasteful spending.
  • You are concerned about Connecticut’s borrowing for pricey projects such as the $1000-an-inch New Britain to Hartford Busway.
  • You are worried that our state’s huge credit card debt will burden your children and grandchildren with higher taxes.
  • You want to see state government abide by the same common sense budget rules that you follow in your own households. For example, you don’t spend more than you take in, neither should the state.

I wholeheartedly agree. The fiscal accountability you are demanding from your government is something I will fight for every day at the State Capitol. There is no “magic checkbook” when it comes to the taxpayers’ money, and that message needs to be sent, received, and repeated in Hartford.

I believe that if Connecticut government can summon the discipline to live within its means, we will soon see the benefits of that sound management of your money. For example, by putting an end to wasteful spending, we will be able to do more for the most vulnerable individuals and families in our communities. By valuing each and every taxpayer dollar, we will be better able to stretch those dollars farther. In doing so, we can provide additional help for the disabled, seniors, and people who suffer from mental illness.

In response to the business owners I have met on my area manufacturing tours, I will continue pressing for policies which better connect employers with employees, programs which allow the jobless to learn valuable skills, and for legislation which spurs job growth and entrepreneurship. My goal is to get more people working in good quality jobs. With more people working, we will have more people paying taxes. With more people paying taxes, we will not have to raise taxes any further on our already overburdened residents and businesses.

The first 100 days as your state senator have been an amazing experience, and it truly is an honor to serve and meet with area taxpayers. I view each day as an opportunity – an opportunity to bring state spending under control, an opportunity to make this state the most business friendly state in the nation, and an opportunity to improve the quality of life for the generations which follow us.

To turn those opportunities into reality, we need to understand that the “magic checkbook” does not exist.