Election Day is coming up, and adults across Connecticut will be casting their ballots based on the issues that matter most to them. Babies, however, don’t get a say in what comes next. So it’s up to us grownups to vote on their behalf. What we know about the importance of early learning has changed drastically over the years. We used to think that a child’s education started when they entered kindergarten. Then, we began to recognize the value of preschool. Now, thanks to illuminating science on brain development, we know that education starts much earlier.
I have to admit that I am confused by this year’s election season income tax fever in Connecticut. I have heard over and over how 2018 is the moment where jobs and economic growth will be the major concern. So my question is: why are we constantly talking about the income tax? What does the income tax have to do with creating jobs? I conducted my own very unscientific research to find companies that would expand or create new jobs and facilities in Connecticut only if the state cut the income tax. I could not find one.
Freedom of Speech is meant to safeguard democracy, to protect people’s ability to freely engage in public discourse and govern themselves. But when outside donors (often unknown and untraceable) inject substantial sums to influence my community’s elections, such donors overstep the prerogative of choosing their representatives and encroach upon my community’s process of choosing our own.
From the late 1980s and early 1990s, awareness about autism increased because of the hard work by families, professionals, and self-advocates. As a result, the community became powerful enough to influence the U.S. Congress. Since those eras, more methods like Affinity Therapy and Lego Therapy has been accepted and old methods like Applied Behavior Analysis improved to help future generations. As someone who is majoring as a disability specialist, I am excited to work for the autism community. Despite this excitement, I have a fear in the back of my mind. It involves the current political climate of the country and the possibility of autism policies becoming more partisan, instead of something legislators in both parties generally support.
Thirty-nine Connecticut General Assembly candidates, have pledged to vote in 2019 legislative session for the Free and Fair Elections Resolution, which would make Connecticut the sixth state to call for a national convention for the exclusive purpose of proposing a commonsense, nonpartisan U.S. Constitutional amendment on federal campaign finance reform.
I was a post-war baby, raised in the 1950s in a racist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, sexually repressed, theocratic America. Civil rights for people of color and “queers” were non-existent. Women’s rights were virtually unknown and women’s liberation was widely regarded as a plot to destroy the American family. Legal abortion was more than a decade away and even providing contraceptives to married couples was illegal until 1965 when, in the Griswold v. Connecticut decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declared this prohibition an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.
Democracy functions best when all citizens lend their voice with their vote. Regardless of ideology, affiliation, or age, we better ourselves when all voices are heard. Other countries enjoy consistently high turnout rates (Norway, Sweden, and Belgium hover around 80 percent), incentivizing elected officials to represent all of their constituents. Here, turnout barely reaches 60 percent, and we need to do better.
Should money intended for transportation projects be spent on transportation projects? I think so. As far back as December 2015, the General Assembly was discussing the importance of ensuring that funding in the Special Transportation Fund (STF) be used “solely for transportation purposes.” In 2017, the House and Senate turned this matter over to the electors in a ballot measure. Now it is up the citizens of Connecticut to answer the question.
I have read numerous articles by the Connecticut Mirror that routinely lay the blame for our unfunded health and retirement benefits on under-saving for these plans for decades. While this is true, it ignores the fact that the unions were complicit in this under-funding and other significant contributing factors. State pension and healthcare agreements are rife with abuse.
Medicaid is an essential part of America’s safety net and is relied on by many millions of working families, children, and people with disabilities in our country. It helps fund hospitals and doctors that deliver health care to people who would otherwise be unable to pay. Without Medicaid, providers would still have to offer these services; they would just have to absorb the cost, hurting the system overall. Medicaid also provides an economic boost to the states, with the federal government covering most of the costs, pumping millions into state economies.
Imagine, if you will, a state that was unable to draw itself out of the deep recession of 2008. Neighboring states fared better and were chugging along at a nice clip. Talking about Connecticut? Well, it could be, but, actually the state I was referring to is Kansas. There is a reason why some candidates for governor here talk about Kansas.