The state faces unprecedented budget difficulties. The trick is to maintain services while not raising taxes so much that even more jobs are chased away.
I propose measures to bring peace and tranquility to our cities. The current epidemic of crime and violence is in truth a very heavy burden on our depleted pockets. Apart from the obvious costs of prosecuting and locking up offenders, there are the much greater costs engendered by widespread poverty and hopelessness. Connecticut, while one of the wealthiest states in the union, has some of the poorest cities. Bringing peace and tranquility will also cause a surge in economic activity and a renewed flow of taxes to fill our Budget Hole.
To do this I propose to wind down the so-called War on Drugs and replace it with more effective policies, since illegal drug dealing is responsible for so much of the violence and crime in our cities. This I propose should be done in stages, since, while many of the policies I propose are already legislated or de facto policy in other parts of the country and the world, we won't know how they will work in Connecticut until they are tried. Thankfully the State of Connecticut sponsors a highly regarded Drug Policy Unit at Central Connecticut State University, whose recommendations I will largely follow.
I will work to make sure that the state supports new industries that play to our strengths, rather than tax giveaways of the sort that end up costing $100,000 per job. This $100,000 in lost taxes, now paid by the rest of us, means that probably three jobs are chased away from the state for one job created.
Among these new industries, the green economy is one of the most important as we move away from oil (and oil spills). Connecticut has already made a good start in this area.
There is no idea which is more dangerous to a Democracy than the idea that we have achieved it. Our electoral system can be improved in several ways:
We need to protect public health while controlling costs by focusing on early prevention.
Provide more state funding for education, in exchange for lowering a portion of property taxes which mainly pays for it now. This will reduce the difference between rich and poor schools, the worst gap in the nation, and reduce pockets of poverty which we pay for in so many other ways now.
I endorse the agenda of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment: clean renewable energy; protection for Long Island Sound and our watersheds; mass transit; a coordinated plan to reduce global warming; and a sustainable economy based on green jobs..
Make Connecticut more bicycle friendly. The hills of New Milford are not bicycle friendly, but think how a dedicated bicycle lane on the fast section of Rte 7 from Lanesville Road to the Brookfield border would help.
Pass enabling legislation to allow towns to tax land and buildings at different rates. This discourages sprawl and the need to expensively provide municipal services over a wide area.
Approved by Nicholas Payne