Frustrating year one for GOP state senator [New London Day]

September 8, 2015

Letter to the editor as it appeared in the New London Day

The residents of Connecticut are beginning to see and feel firsthand the effects of trying to tax away problems. The way any organization works to its highest and best potential is by utilizing all of its assets. Governing with only one side in the room — the legislature’s Democratic majority — is not producing the results that are necessary to move Connecticut forward. Instead, we are seeing continued deficit spending and tax hikes on more and more of the items we use each and every day.

When serving as East Lyme first selectman and facing the start of what was to become known as the Great Recession, I asked to speak to the East Lyme Democratic Town Committee. I knew them to be a dedicated and passionate group of 40 people committed to the best interest of our town.

Although the Republicans held majorities on every board and commission in town, I knew we did not have all the answers. It was by working together; sharing ideas and expertise and forging solutions that all of East Lyme reaped the benefits. A Day editorial proclaimed, “East Lyme is a town that works”.

As I worked through my first legislative session as your state senator from the 20th District, I watched what happens when exclusivity trumps inclusivity. I believe that the public sniping back and forth in the press and elsewhere is not moving us toward any real solution, rather it’s a symptom of a process in need of repair.

Our Republican senators and representatives reached out individually and through our leaders asking the Democrats for the chance to present ideas. We offered no-tax-increase alternatives. We debated in committees and offered amendments to bills heard on the floor of both legislative chambers. We knew that our ideas alone would not cure Connecticut, or solely be the answer to reducing the burdens on our citizens. But as elected representatives of our districts we knew that we could help; that we could offer ideas that could and should work their way into bipartisan solutions.

Those legislators who do not share our ideas as presented have a right and an obligation to disagree, just as we do. But are we so indicative of a broken system that we can’t even try to talk to one another and find compromise?

I stand ready — we stand ready — and with the public’s help let’s convince those in the majority party that when the legislature returns in 2016 they should be ready to work together with us and put down the poison pens. Connecticut deserves our very best collective efforts.
Paul M. Formica is a Republican state senator representing the 20th District.