…ON FISCAL DISCIPLINE
“We are socially liberal and fiscally responsible.” Democrats usually get credit for for the first part of that sentence but often not the latter. Ned Lamont and Connecticut Democrats are committed to, and have shown, more fiscal discipline over the last four years than any state administration in memory (including Republicans Rowland and Rell). Lamont’s fiscal stewardship has resulted in the largest middle-class tax cut in history, full funding for our rainy-day fund, and a remarkable pay-down of Connecticut’s pension liabilities by almost $6 billion. Importantly, the pension pay-downs result in over $440 million in annual savings, every year forever. Importantly, Democrats achieved these stellar results without increasing the income tax or capital gains tax. And at the same time, Democrats eliminated state taxes on several categories of pensions and retirement funds, and significantly increased the estate tax exemption. Democrats accomplished all this during a pandemic and despite obstruction by Hartford Republicans. Republicans complain that Connecticut isn’t providing even more tax cuts, though they didn’t even support the $660 million tax cuts passed by Democrats. Ned Lamont and Connecticut Democrats have proven they have the resolve and competence to tackle Connecticut’s historic fiscal challenges. We are grateful they have four more years to continue their successes.
We believe that commitment to excellence in education is what defines Wilton and what makes our town so attractive to families from all over country. We believe that nurturing that commitment and continually improving our schools is critical to our future as a town and to our children’s future. It follows that we embrace and defend local control of Wilton schools. We are committed to hiring the most dedicated and talented teachers and administrators, to supporting them, to benefiting from their knowledge and expertise. We believe in parental involvement in our schools to the extent that it provides direction to those professionals, but not to the extent that it infuses politics or ideology in the curriculum or in the educational process. We believe that our commitment to maintaining the best schools will give every student, regardless of natural talent or background, the opportunity to reach their potential.
Democrats State Senator Ceci Maher and State Representative Keith Denning vigorously uphold Wilton’s right to make decisions about education in our town.
…ON LGBTQ+ RIGHTS
We are committed to ensuring that all members of the LGBTQ+ community feel safe and have the opportunity to thrive in Wilton and beyond, including in their schools, homes, and workplaces. We are committed to protecting the rights and liberties of LGBTQ+ members and we share in their Pride. More needs to be done, especially concerning the safety and mental health of youth and the aging population. We encourage government, civic organizations, and others to support measures that welcome the LGBTQ+ community and affirm their full equality.
We believe that the vast majority of Americans support the basic principles of Roe vs. Wade. In light of the draconian actions of several states to criminalize some reproductive choices, Wilton’s Democrats vow to defend a woman’s right to make those decisions herself. We recognize that abortion and related reproductive issues often pose tremendously difficult choices. We believe that the decisions regarding those choices must ultimately be made by each woman individually, together with her doctors and whichever partners, family, friends, or clergy she chooses to rely on. Connecticut law embraces Roe v. Wade principles, but it is a law that can be changed by any new legislature. Democratic State Senator Ceci Maher and State Representative Keith Denning will guarantee that women retain the right to make their own reproductive decisions. Connecticut’s Republican party has not made the same commitment.
The United States is a massive, international outlier when it comes to gun violence. Our rate of firearm deaths is five times higher than France, ten times higher than Italy, and twelve times higher than Australia. The only countries higher than us include Venezuela and Honduras. Many gun deaths are from suicide, which we consider a double tragedy.
Wilton’s Democrats generally support the right of individuals to own guns, but we also resoundingly believe that arsenals of war are not contemplated by the 2nd Amendment. We believe that background checks are essential. We support red flag laws, higher minimum ages for purchase, measures to prevent “ghost guns,” and limits on the number of guns purchased at one time. And while we absolutely support greater mental health resources for everyone, we see it as a disingenuous distraction every time it is raised by the NRA and Republican politicians to following violent tragedies. Perhaps most important, we insist that the Founders knew what they meant when they conditioned the 2nd Amendment with the words “A well regulated militia…”
Tragically, the 2022 fatal shootings in Bristol show that even police are vulnerable to the proliferation of guns. We must do better on guns to protect law enforcement.
Democrats Ceci Maher and Keith Denning support stronger efforts on gun safety.
…ON CRIME PREVENTION
Safe streets are a priority for Connecticut Democrats. Under Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut remains one of the safest states in the nation, with a violent crime rate that is fourth-lowest in the country. Over the last ten years overall crime in Connecticut has fallen 30%, including a 43% reduction in violent crime and a 29% reduction in property crime. Violent crime and motor vehicle theft both dropped in 2021. Safe streets are a priority for Connecticut Democrats, and the results are encouraging.
Governor Lamont has taken a firm hand in strengthening criminal laws. In 2022 Hartford Democrats increased penalties on certain homicides, firearm crimes, and juvenile car theft. Lamont’s budgets have provided record funding for law enforcement, enabling state and local governments to hire and train 1,200 new police officers over the last few years. More troopers are in service than at any time in the last seven years, and Lamont continues to increase the size of training classes.
Importantly, Democrats stepped up for troopers in 2019 with a much-deserved salary increase. The vote was along party lines, with Republicans arguing that the state could not afford the raise.
Safety will always be a top priority for Connecticut Democrats. We will continue to deliver strong results in partnership with state and local law enforcement.
Connecticut’s goal to reduce 45 percent of carbon pollution by 2030 cannot happen without serious work in the transportation sector. Indeed, as former Sen. Will Haskell, who accomplished so much on environmental issues like plastic packaging, has said: “The largest contributor to those emissions is the transportation sector, so we believe it’s impossible to talk about the environment without addressing transportation, and impossible to talk about transportation without addressing the environment.”
Democrats believe that every vote on infrastructure, and indeed most votes on the economy, must be seen through lens of environmental concerns. Bills such as the Haskell-sponsored Senate Bill 4, the Connecticut Clean Air Act, which gave Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) the authority to move forward with medium- and heavy-duty vehicle regulations adopted by states across the country, including Massachusetts and New Jersey, are the beginning.
Promoting and supporting renewable energy, be it in the form of wind farms or solar, and encouraging the use of electric cars and trucks to overcome our addiction to fossil fuels, are what we must do to deliver to our children an environment that will sustain them.