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Issues that Matter in Our Towns

My focus is on issues that impact the livelihood of our neighbors and livability of our communities.  I will forge bipartisan relationships with the Representatives of other small towns to (finally) put us on Hartford's agenda.

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Fully Funding Police, Fire and Ambulance Services

All communities rely on the basic infrastructure of first responders. Being far from local hospitals and reliance on volunteers in our fire and ambulance services is very different from the experience of legislators in large cities. 

Our communities deserve on-demand, individual public safety support but lack the larger population for cost sharing.  Our geography also  puts more wear on equipment. Our citizens fill the gap, from volunteering to funding, to ensure our towns' viability and ability to aid our neighbors.

I will work to get our volunteer first responders the resources they need and advocate for the hidden realties of serving our communities.

Supporting Our Farms and Small Businesses

Our towns' economies are anchored in our New England vibe: natural beauty, outdoor recreation, family farms and small businesses.  

When it comes to regulation and taxation, Hartford must understand that one size does not fit all. Legislation intended to protect  can create hardships, especially when city-based lawmakers aren't actively engaged on our small town reality. I will bring our state leadership to the district to listen directly to you.  I will shed light on the unintended consequences of policies focused on large cities and work to create the space we need to thrive.  For example, tourism funding that supports state forests, property tax relief on family farm transfers, and common sense regulatory exemptions for our small businesses.

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Fairly Funding Education 

Schools, the backbone of any community, play multiple roles from education to feeding children to offering the arts and sports to the community. Demand to live in our communities depends on the quality of our schools. That demand supports our property values and helps control mill rate growth.   

 

Some have suggested indexing education funding to inflation. That is not enough. The design of the state's Education Cost Sharing and Special Needs funding formulas must be rebalanced and fully funded to reduce the pressure on municipal budgets. I will insist that we reconsider this math to support the unavoidable core costs of operating a school facility of any size. 

We also must support teachers and students as they work to make up educational deficits from the pandemic and restore the mental health of our children. Partnerships between parents, educators, and students are more important than ever as we navigate maintaining good schools, dealing with behavioral issues, and creating welcoming school climates. 

Improving Senior Housing and Services

I am not only an advocate of senior service solutions, I'm a doer.  I serve on Granby's Commission on Aging, Vice President for the Stony Hill Village senior community, volunteer with seniors throughout the district, and support my own parents through this process.

As I talk with you, I hear a common story.  We chose our town because of family and stay here because of community.  There is no greater wish than to have our children choose to make their lives here and for each of us to maintain our independent lifestyle in the home and community we've built.  This need is getting more urgent as our towns age.

In Hartford, I will focus on policies that make aging in place possible in our towns:  healthcare access, transportation, and home modifications.  And ensure that our senior housing options are well maintained and new housing is developed respectfully.

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Ensuring Access to Medical & Mental Health Services

Access to safe, affordable healthcare for everyone is a pro-business and pro-people strategy to manage costs for household budgets and small businesses. A healthier population is more productive and able to tackle the challenges that face our communities. 

Part of that is full access to reproductive healthcare, including contraception and abortion. Medical decisions must remain between doctors and their patients, regardless of the medical issue or a person's gender. Medical professionals need to know that their medical opinions will not be subject to litigation after the fact for providing a legal procedure. 

The cultural wars don't serve our communities or our state. We deserve people-focused policies that move us forward toward a brighter future, not a society that accepts a high maternal death rate, limited access to life saving care, and legal red tape that hamstrings doctors.  

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