Let’s decriminalize work and seeing our children

We got rid of debtors’ prisons centuries ago, yet why do we allow the state to imprison our fellow citizens for working? As you know, we have licensing laws for many professions and for many of those professions that is a good thing. It is the extent to which we have licensing that sometimes raises an issue as special interests such as the profession itself or the trade schools get more restrictive rules imposed by the legislature to limit competition or enrich themselves at the expense of the citizen who only wants to work.

Time to confront Connecticut’s looming financial crisis

Here we go again. Less than a year after a record 123 days without a budget, the legislature careens towards yet another budget crisis with 11th-hour negotiations and no clear path forward for addressing Connecticut’s looming financial crisis. Regardless of this year’s “fix,” the next governor and legislature will face a gaping $5 billion hole for the next two years that threatens our families, our jobs, and our employers. Last year’s crisis gave us a preview of what is in store if we stay on the current path: cuts to towns for police; cuts to education for our children; and cuts to programs that support the most vulnerable in our state.

What the Parkland shootings should mean to Connecticut

What does the tragic shooting at the Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018 mean for Connecticut? After Connecticut suffered the tragedy of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012, Connecticut tightened up its gun control laws to the tightest among the 50 states. The recommendation to ban bump stocks that can turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon is welcome. To require more people to have background checks is also welcome. But this is not what the Parkland School shooting means for Connecticut.

Connecticut’s next governor must have the character to lead

Republican delegates and voters will have a choice on who will lead us in the fall election. We have a tremendous opportunity to chart a new course for Connecticut, one that will move our state in the right direction. Delegates should want to know who won’t shy away from our Republican values and who can carry the fight to the Democrats and hold them accountable for their failed policies that have led Connecticut down the road to ruin. We need to choose a nominee who can win and will govern effectively, unafraid to upend the status quo and bring bold ideas that will lead us into the future.

To save Connecticut, we must open the 2017 SEBAC agreement

News Flash: Daniel Livingston, chief negotiator for the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, (SEBAC) has stated that the 2017 SEBAC agreement should be upheld on legal, moral and economic grounds. These grounds end up endorsing our six point Blueprint to Save Connecticut, the only true fiscal and constitutional reform program in the gubernatorial race.

‘Enough’ means everyone — including Republicans

Sexual harassment: “Any unwanted sexual conduct that affects the terms and conditions of a person’s employment or creates a hostile work environment.”

Sexual harassment law is clear and prescriptive; how human beings respond to it is often a muddle. And so it’s impossible to predict who will harass, who will take the fall, and who will look the other way.

The Hartford bailout is unfair and unconstitutional

Dear Fellow Citizens: The recent effort to shift $550 million in debt from the City of Hartford onto the citizens of the State of Connecticut is illegal and is without authority under Article 1, Section 2 of our Constitution. It is about as effective as one drunken sailor telling the bartender that he will cover the bar tab of another drunken sailor.

Advice for would-be candidates — from a candidate

An open letter to anyone thinking about running for office: My name is Micah Welintukonis. I was medically retired from the Army almost two years ago after being shot, then subsequently taking a direct hit from a suicide bomber on July 9, 2012. Some of the injuries I sustained were over two dozen pieces of shrapnel in my left arm, shrapnel in my abdomen and face, and a mild concussion. I was awarded the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation with Valor, and the Combat Medic Badge for my actions that day. I am running as an unaffiliated candidate for governor of Connecticut.

Dems voted against McDonald, too, but it’s crickets from Senator Duff

Earlier this month, State Sen. Bob Duff of Norwalk made statements that offended me and many other Connecticut residents who are fed up with divisive Washington-style electioneering that’s ripping apart this country. Duff, Democrat majority leader at the statehouse, said Republicans are “anti-gay” if they aren’t supporting Gov. Dannel Malloy’s nominee for Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court.

A way to cure Connecticut’s ‘fiscal cancer’

The Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth Commission has issued its report. It recommends proposed net tax and toll increases, tax reform, aspirational but unspecified spending cuts, and no changes to the SEBAC agreement until 2027. Now that the report has been issued, it seems appropriate to compare it to my previously submitted recommendations. Connecticut’s problem is fairly simple. Gov. Dan Malloy and his Democratic allies have raised taxes, increased regulation, adopted such an anti-business approach, and promised such generous retirement benefits to state workers that revenues are declining, recurring deficits are normal, and economic growth is anemic as Connecticut businesses and families flee the state.

Time to break Connecticut’s ‘steady habits’ and make some progress

I am running for state representative in the 18th district of West Hartford because I feel a sense of urgency to improve our state economy and our society. In order to fix our state we need leaders who are willing to buck tradition and embrace fresh ideas. My campaign is focused squarely on the leadership at the CGA, leadership in the Democratic Party, and leadership by women.

Sovereign immunity and Connecticut’s pension obligations

For those who have been following its economic and tax fortunes, Connecticut has been lagging behind other states and has a millstone of unfunded pension liabilities around its neck. Depending on whom you ask, the unfunded pension liabilities for the State Employee Retirement System and the Teacher’s Retirement Fund are $39 billion, if government standards are applied, they are in excess of $100 billion if private sector accounting standards are applied. While Connecticut has contributed more to these pensions in the last few years, Connecticut at the same time has been losing population; seen more capital and high earners leave the state than enter the state; and the budget shortfalls continue unabated.