Martin wants to lower gas tax, eliminate wasteful spending (Bristol Press)

January 5, 2015

Article as it appeared in the Bristol Press

Henri Martin to be sworn in Jan. 7

BRISTOL — More than 100 years ago, President Teddy Roosevelt was known as the “trust buster.” Before Bristol state Sen. Henri Martin leaves office he wouldn’t object to the nickname the “unfunded mandate buster.”

Senator-elect Henri Martin will be sworn in Jan. 7 at the State Capitol and serve as the lead Republican member of several legislative panels during the 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. He represents Bristol, Plainville, Harwinton, Plymouth and Thomaston.

Martin has been appointed by Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano to serve as ranking member of the state legislature’s Banks Committee, Committee on Children and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Martin will also be a member of the Transportation Committee, which will draw his immediate attention. Despite Ctfastrak, Martin says the state needs to pay attention to the roadways and cites increasing number of young drivers.

“Changing the economy begins here,” he says. “It will put a lot of people to work.”

Though he is open to the argument about bringing back toll booths, to him the real problem is the gas tax.

“We need a reduction,” he says. “If we lower the gas tax, we’ll put more money into consumers’ pockets and they’ll spend it.”

The Senator is confident he can make a positive impact in this and on other policy areas and is eager to get started.

“I’ve been thinking in terms of what I might do if I were Governor,” he says. “How could I turn this ‘ship’ around?”

Martin says what irks him are the recent pay raises in the Malloy administration while he and others in the state have been “busting our butts trying to make a living.”

A fellow Republican, state GOP party chairman, Jerry Labriola, set the tone for the party when he said recently, “Granting lavish 12 percent pay raises to political appointees when the state faces yet another significant budget deficit is reckless and signifies a serious issue with the priorities of the Malloy administration.”

Both Martin and Labriola view this as “an irresponsible decision,” and believe it’s why the Governor waited until after the election to announce the salary increases.

Martin will advocate for the elimination of the business entity tax, unfunded mandates, lowering of energy costs and the elimination of wasteful state spending.

“I’ll work with members of both parties to reduce license fees for small businesses and tradesmen, end the income tax on pensions and social security and stop diverting funds from road and bridge repairs,” he says.

“Henri will have a heavy workload with these assignments, but I know he’s up to the challenge,” Fasano says. “We welcome his voice, his enthusiasm, his work ethic and his experience to the state Capitol. He will be an excellent senator on behalf of the people of greater Bristol.”

The owner of Henri Martin Real Estate and Broad Street Self Storage, Martin says he prepared for his elected position by beefing up his staff of brokers. A two-term Bristol city councilman, he was appointed as Acting Mayor in 2013.

Scott Whipple can be reached at (860) 225-4601, ext. 319 or at [email protected]