Connecticut’s most critical need: Bipartisanship

The events of the last week have highlighted the need for true bipartisanship in solving the state’s fiscal problems.
Why bipartisanship? Because we desperately need the best ideas from both sides of the aisle.
Last Friday and Saturday’s votes in the Senate and House were a reflection of what most people are looking for — a new approach, a break from policies that haven’t worked, and ultimately, a risk that could lead to greater rewards.
Despite a likely veto, that vote was exactly what state residents and businesses needed to see: those with different views working together to improve Connecticut for everyone.

Government always matters

Our natural rush to respond to disasters brings out the collective best in us to help each other survive and recover. It unifies us. Let’s capitalize on this unifying spirit to mitigate the occurrence of self-inflicted disasters. Disasters caused by how we may choose to negotiate international diplomacy; to send our military into harms way; to address economic growth and security; to understand science; and to enforce the rights and fair treatment of the abused and vulnerable. Being passive observers won’t do. We must rush to help our government focus on creating a common good that is meant for all of us. To avoid self-inflicted disasters our leaders must choose wisely, and choose our leaders wisely we must.

‘We as legislators are failing our constituents’

Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to discuss the status of our state and the current budget crisis with many leaders and officials in our local community. It pains me to hear the drastic impact Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed cuts would make to some of the most fundamental aspects of our towns, particularly in the schools. Unfortunately, without a budget, the governor has the authority to continue making these unacceptable and arbitrary cuts. This is exactly why I have been demanding that the Speaker of the House call us into session for a budget vote.

Should Connecticut take Millstone at its word…

Over the course of two legislative sessions, Connecticut lawmakers and ratepayers have received requests for financial ‘assistance’ from the Millstone Nuclear Plant. Despite Millstone spending nearly $1 million on lobbying this year alone, Hartford hasn’t been convinced. But as Gov. Dannel Malloy’s executive ordered investigation into the plant’s financial viability kicks off, it seems a moment of truth is coming for Millstone.

Democrats give Republicans the back of the hand

Connecticut Democrat political leaders are despicable.  They control both the Senate and House in our General Assembly, and they have not yet produced a budget.  They are letting Gov. Dannel Malloy rule the roost as they bicker among themselves.  The only item they agreed on was cutting the unions a sweetheart deal as reward for helping them get elected and stay in power.

In praise of mongrels

Before the wedding, my mother’ parents, who were high (albeit lax) Episcopalians, came a calling on my father’s parents, who were staunch Irish Catholics.  As a safety precaution, my paternal grandmother hid all the sharp knives.

Larson, Courtney: Fix ACA by letting 50 to 64-year-olds join Medicare

After passing the eight-year mark since passing the Affordable Care Act, nonpartisan data from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau have confirmed the real-life benefits the ACA has brought to the state of Connecticut. As the Bureau reported, the uninsured rate in our state has fallen from 9.2 to 3.8 percent, patients can no longer be cut off from medical treatment due to lifetime limits on coverage, and Americans have the peace of mind in knowing that a childhood illness or chronic disease will not prohibit them from purchasing health insurance later in life. However, in the seven years since its passage, the ACA has not solved every problem in the healthcare system and serious challenges remain even today.

The Citizens Election Program must be protected

Before Connecticut’s Citizens’ Election Program, unions or corporations could donate as much as they wanted directly to candidates, and expect favors in return.  Some current legislators are proposing the program’s elimination as a way to save money during the current budget negotiations. Fully funding the CEP is crucial to Connecticut’s ability to transcend the days of “Corrupticut.”

Watershed moment missed with state union contract

Our Connecticut State Legislature was faced with a truly historic choice; either dig our state out of a $5 billion biennial fiscal abyss responsibly or, once again, allow the state unions to reap asymmetrical benefits that significantly exceed both the private sector workforce and state employees from any other state in the country. The legislature chose the latter, and one of the most critical opportunities to change our state’s fiscal trajectory was squandered with the renegotiation of our state union workers contract.