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Connecticut Budget Hole
Get Connecticut Back to Work!
Better Democracy
Health
Education Equality
Environment
Bicycles
Land Value Taxation
More issue positions

Connecticut Budget Hole

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.

  1. Legalize marijuana for medical use, as in Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey and 11 other states. Extend legalization to all marijuana use subsequently. California has a referendum on this in November, and we may be able to follow their lead.
  2. Experiment with providing heroin under medical supervision to heroin addicts. This is a better option for them than buying it on the street. There are at least 700 other drugs available, so I propose that we extend this type of experiment to most drugs in order to knock the stuffing out of the illegal drug trade with all its direct and indirect costs.

Get Connecticut Back to Work!

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.

Better Democracy

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:

Health

We need to protect public health while controlling costs by focusing on early prevention.

  • Pay for stop-smoking programs using money from tobacco taxes. Connecticut is one of only five states that do not offer this for Medicaid patients or require insurance companies to pay for it.
  • I will vigorously support at the State Level efforts to bring healthier school lunches to all our school children, and to encourage active lifestyles.
  • America loves "socialist health care"--so much so, that we have not one, but four systems, and we spend more on it per capita than many countries more famous for their socialist health care.

    The systems are Medicare, Medicaid, the VA System and the uninsured. The uninsured system is socialist because if you are uninsured, you wait until your situation is dire, go to the emergency room and the costs are passed on to everyone in a very socialist way. Given this love, I propose, for efficiency's sake, moving towards a single unified system that covers everybody, while of course, everyone who still wants private health care can still have it. I will support Connecticut's own "Sustinet" program as a step in this direction.

Education Equality

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.

Environment

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..

Bicycles

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.

Land Value Taxation

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.

More issue positions

Approved by Nicholas Payne
Paid for by the Green Party of Connecticut

 

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