10 Point Plan

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1. MAKE CONNECTICUT MORE AFFORDABLE

It costs too much to live and work in Connecticut. Taxes and fees make it incredibly difficult to raise a family or to retire in Connecticut. We must make Connecticut more affordable through responsible reductions in the state income tax, in order to put more money in the pockets of our residents and by expanding the revenue base through more employers and taxpayers in our state. Through right- sizing the scope of state government and partnering with our cities and towns to lower their costs, we can begin to lower the tax burden for our residents and businesses.

I propose immediately reducing the state income and pass-through entity taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars for our state’s working and middle classes, to help ignite economic growth unseen in Connecticut in over two decades. In order to keep seniors from moving out of state, we also need to repeal the estate tax. Below is a chart of the income tax cuts proposed for the first year of a Boughton Administration:

Current Rate New Rate % Reduction
3.00% 2.75% -8.30%
5.00% 4.75% -5.00%
5.50% 5.25% -4.50%
6.00% 5.75% -4.10%
6.50% 6.25% -3.80%
6.90% 6.75% -2.20%
6.99% 6.90% -1.30%

Under a Boughton administration, the biggest tax relief will be focused on those at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. This reduction will put $381 million back into the hands of Connecticut’s residents and represents a down payment toward the further elimination of the income tax over 10 years. As the economy finally expands under this lower cost, employer-friendly environment, we must continue to work towards phasing out the income tax for all taxpayers in our state.

2. CONNECTICUT’S ECONOMIC COMEBACK

Connecticut families should not need to worry about whether their jobs are safe and whether their employer can survive. From day one, I will work with my agency leaders to make Connecticut more employment friendly by reviewing and eliminating onerous regulations, reducing unnecessary fees and taxes, and making clear that state government will work with employers, rather than against them, to help create jobs. A complete review of government regulations as they pertain to business formation and operation should be immediately undertaken so that all the world will know Connecticut is open for business

  • Eliminate the business entity tax.
  • Lift barriers to starting small businesses by waiving certain licensing fees for entrepreneurs.
  • Stop punishing start-up businesses by phasing out the capital stock corporate tax rate which currently taxes businesses that are not yet profitable.
  • Encourage employers to hire new workers by allowing the apprenticeship tax credit to apply to pass through entities.
  • Make it easier to enter the trades by lowering the number of licensed tradesman per apprentice.
  • Develop a centralized state-permitting center. By providing permit applicants with direct access to decision makers for guidance and feedback, we can speed up the approval process to within 90 days.

A complete review of Government regulations as they pertain to business formation and operation should be immediately undertaken so that all the world will know Connecticut is open for business. Under my economic comeback plan, we will quickly create thousands of jobs by attracting new employers to Connecticut and helping promote our existing businesses across our country and around the globe. The state’s economic development efforts will no longer be playing defense, desperately trying to retain companies. Instead, we will go on the offense throughout America and the world to build upon Connecticut’s strengths thus creating lasting trade relationships for our existing businesses and encouraging new employers to expand and relocate to Connecticut.

Malloy’s era of crony capitalism and multi-million dollar handouts to billionaire hedge fund managers will end. We will begin concentrating on growing our state’s base of small and medium sized businesses to help fuel the productivity and expansion of our state’s largest employers. Rather than continuing Malloy’s failed corporate welfare system, we will expand jobs by making Connecticut more affordable to do business. My plan includes reducing taxes, eliminating unnecessary regulations, and lowering energy costs while investing in actual workforce development programs that concentrate on partnering with our employers to finally produce a 21st century workforce that can compete on a global level.

3. EDUCATE A 21ST CENTURY WORKFORCE

For too long, Connecticut has been leaving our students without the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the world’s fast-moving economy. Our aging workforce is causing a major skills gap for our younger generation. Our state must adapt and close this gap in order for us to compete with our neighboring states and global competitors. Below are a few reforms my administration will enact to make our children more competitive in the workforce.

  • Encourage students interested in technical trades by expanding our state’s vocational and technical school system.
  • Open evening courses in our state trade schools in our cities to encourage career transitions for our residents.
  • To open computer programming and information technology programs and tech hubs in our vo-tech school systems.
  • Encourage and incentivize school districts to offer greater course offerings through an expansion of available online classes. This will both help residents and lower costs.
  • Target the expansion of advanced manufacturing training by partnering with our supply chain and larger manufacturers to provide the skills needed in a more efficient and timely fashion.
  • Evaluate all schools in the state including the magnet and charter school programs to ensure they are achieving their stated goals in the most efficient manner.
  • Work with stakeholders to establish a turnaround model similar to Massachusetts for our state’s struggling school districts to help close the achievement gap. This model can be achieved within the state’s current funding.
  • Lastly, we need to eliminate the Board of Regents, which has become a dumping ground for political appointments.

4. TRANSPORTATION
Transportation in Connecticut has always been an issue, and as the economy has slowly recovered from 2008/2009, congestion has continued to grow.

The reality of Connecticut’s Infrastructure: The largest capital project facing the state, which cannot be ignored, is the Mixmaster replacement in Waterbury. This project is estimated to cost $12 billion in 2016 dollars, and may be more, while the I-84 Viaduct in Hartford can ultimately cost between $5-$8 billion. Both must be done, but both lack any funding options other than bonding. Additionally, there are untold billions of dollars worth of maintenance and repair projects that will need to be completed in order to keep our roads, bridges, and highways in good working order.

Options for Connecticut: The STF is only expected to remain in balance for the next 5 years. Additional revenue will need to be found in the next biennial budgets, or cuts to DOT and DMV will need to be made, to ensure the STF shows a five-year solvency window to allow the state to continue to sell STO bonds. To achieve this, we must have a combination of reducing the capital program where we are able, while reducing costs as much as possible.

Capital reduction: Scaling back our infrastructure projects is not an ideal solution as the needs far outstrip even the most optimistic proposals for capital spending. But our current fiscal crisis demands that we seek to reign in these costs. Some projects can never be scuttled to save money. Three small examples are listed below.

1. The proposal to widen I-95 from Greenwich to Rhode Island – Widening I-95 would take years of study and environmental reviews. Efforts to acquire rights of way will be immense in certain portions and it would not reduce congestion. Some spot improvements to on-ramps and merge lanes could
be made to reduce congestion in certain bottlenecks for a fraction of the cost. In addition, connected and automated vehicles that will be on the roads in the next decade will reduce the need for additional lanes.

2. Other projects could be reduced in scope such as the proposals to increase service on the Shoreline East route, which has the highest state subsidy per rider in the state, exceeding $50 per rider.

3. Other projects could be reimagined, such as the WALK Bridge in Norwalk, a movable bridge on the New Haven Line that is over 100 years old. Federal regulations currently require any bridge in that location to be movable and to open at specific times when requested by the Coast Guard because it crosses a federally-authorized navigation channel. This has led the cost to replace the bridge to soar to $1 billion. An alternative bridge that would be fixed in place and not movable would be much lower cost. While federal regulation requires a movable bridge for the navigation channel, Congress routinely deauthorizes navigation channels every two years in a piece of legislation called the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). This can save hundreds of millions of dollars and could reduce the cost of other movable bridges on the New Haven Line that needs replacement in the next 10-15 years; all of which are over 100 years old and are each expected to cost between $500 million and $1 billion.

Cost Reduction: CTDOT does not contract out much work despite claims by state unions to the contrary. There are numerous tasks that could be done cheaper and more efficiently by the private sector, such as maintaining rest areas. CTDOT has required that an attendant be on site at all times that a rest area is open. When funding was removed for rest areas, the CTDOT decided to close them for part of the day instead of eliminating the 24/7 staffing of the rest areas (nearly all states have unattended rest areas and a contracted cleaning crew that comes through a couple times a day).

Alternative Construction Methods: CTDOT has failed to adapt to modern construction delivery methods, such as Design-Build, and Design-Build-Maintain. Most of the country uses these methods for projects over $100 million, as they create significant cost savings by expediting delivery of the project.

Alternative financing: The federal government has alternative financing available to the state in the form of loans that may be taken out by the state government. These loan programs, called TIFIA and RRIF (RRIF is for rail projects only), are at or below treasury rates, and repayment can be delayed until the project is finished with no penalty. The conditions are much more flexible than the bonds taken out under the STO program, and since they are not bonds they are cheaper to acquire. By utilizing TIFIA, RRIF, and other financing such as private sector funding available through the P3 market (public-private partnership), the state can reduce the amount of revenue it must generate each year in the STF (which it essentially cannot spend). The state can also use more cash from the STF to pay for capital projects instead of bonding everything; many other states rely solely on cash for projects, in a process called Pay as you go.

Prioritizing Our Borrowing: We must continue and build upon the progress made by Republicans
in the legislature to prioritize our state borrowing in order to eliminate needless general obligation bonding and shift those resources to critical infrastructure and transportation projects.

Consolidate and reorganize: CTDOT has a disjointed structure with a top-heavy head office that
can and should be reorganized. The policy office, which has never functioned, should be removed
from CTDOT and placed at OPM, with the remaining policy staff reassigned to focus on enhancing transportation planning. Advanced transportation technology should be encouraged, and staff should be supported in efforts to use new methods, equipment and computer software. The finance department should be enhanced with staff with expertise in alternative financing methods, and CTDOT staff should be forced to review each project over $100 million for alternative delivery and finance options. Aviation authority for the state should be taken back from the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) and reconsolidated into the planning bureau, as drones will make aviation an important part of the economy in the near future and an entity like the CAA should not be managing the drones in the state.

5. CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Dan Malloy’s second chance laws have helped put violent criminals back on the street. Budgetary constraints cannot be used as an excuse to reduce inmates and close down correctional facilities. Under a Boughton administration, public safety will be placed above any budgetary issues. Via my authority over the Department of Corrections as Governor, we will mandate a 10% (85% of a sentence to 95%) increase for time served before parole may be considered for repeat or violent offenders. I will also re- introduce one of Governor Rell’s initiatives which allowed parole boards access to all relevant information regarding a case, preventing information from being siloed between courts, police, and corrections.
Additionally, while parole is barred for the most heinous acts such as murder and rape, we as a state must expand this to other violent crimes such as first-degree sexual assault, first-degree assault using a deadly weapon, and first-degree assault on an elderly, blind, or disabled person or a pregnant woman, resulting in the loss of a baby. Under Governor Malloy, parole has become a right not a privilege and this must change. Public safety and concern for victims will be a hallmark of my administration.
Malloy’s second chance society eliminated the mandatory minimum sentencing laws for possession
of any quantity of controlled substances within schools zones. Prior to this change, possession of a controlled substance within 1500 ft of a school zone would have come with a mandatory minimum of a 3-year prison sentence. Further, if a drug dealer is caught selling any controlled substance within 1500 ft of a school, this bill allows them to be spared a minimum sentence of 3-years under certain conditions. The impact that the drug trade can have on a community is real and drug dealers should not be allowed to operate near our children.

Lastly, we must undo Dan Malloy’s “Drug Dealer Loophole.” By reducing possession of a narcotic from a felony to a misdemeanor, those who have dealt drugs and are caught can now plead guilty to simple possession and no longer be subject to a felony. It may make sense for those individuals who are using, and likely addicted to drugs to not face felony charges. However, this reduction has created a loophole that actually helps drug dealers skirt the law. We must enact policy which blocks this loophole for dealers.

6. PUBLIC SAFETY AND VETERANS SUPPORT

There is no doubt that Connecticut must prioritize its spending and I believe that public safety is a priority. We must protect those who protect us. To that end, under my administration, the following will be initiated for our first responders:

Compassion for our officers – State Troopers and Municipal Police Officers work hard every day to protect our communities and keep us safe. At times, they face incredible dangers and operate under extremely stressful situations. They support us and we should be supporting them. Unfortunately, some police officers are not seeking mental health services in state due to state laws that prevent officers from getting their “on-duty” firearms back even if they are cleared for work.
Facing extremely difficult situations, we have seen several police officer suicides in recent years in Connecticut; some more recently in Waterbury and Naugatuck. I propose a statutory exemption for police officers that seek and are cleared from mental health professionals, so they may return from work when they are mentally able to do so. This would not include any workers compensation or paid leave above and beyond any municipal policies or union contract.

Ending Human Trafficking – Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity and is occurring throughout Connecticut and the Northeast United States. In Connecticut, since 2007, there have been nearly 650 victims of human trafficking identified by the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Connecticut has made significant progress, but more can be done to continue this work including increased penalties and greater investment of enforcement in specialized state/federal/municipal task forces. We will leverage Department of Justice funding if any resources are available. A Boughton Administration will also reach out to the FBI and other federal agencies for increased coordination.

Reducing Traffic Injuries – Far too often, we hear that one of our brave police officers or firefighters is hit by a moving vehicle while on duty. There’s no doubt that danger is part of the job, but we must take every step possible to reduce these inherent dangers for our public safety personnel. One way to achieve this is through the expansion and increase of the penalty for failure to yield to public safety units on the side of the road.

Fix the Backlog for Background Checks – Critical jobs such as licensed day care providers, bus drivers, and private security guards, far too often go unfilled for months on end due to the time it takes for individuals to receive background checks. Every day that goes by without these jobs being filled, one of our children does not receive adequate childcare, one of our children rides to school on an overcrowded bus, or one of our children is less safe due to a lack of security presence. It is high time to ensure that the Connecticut State Police are fully staffed to complete these background checks in a timely manner. Here again, we can see a lack of prioritizing state funding to where it needs to go and where it can have a positive and life-saving impact.

Fund Regional Fire Training Schools – Gov. Malloy has a long history of cutting critical resources while continuing reckless spending in other areas. Regional Fire Training Schools have had their funding cut to zero by the current Governor in his proposed FY19 budget adjustments. Fortunately, the legislature came together in a bipartisan way to restore their funding. A Boughton Administration will champion and fund these regional centers of training to support our local paid and volunteer firefighters as they seek
to serve our communities and make them safer. We will seek long term funding models to ensure these regional cooperative institutions have predictability in the future.

Veteran Job Training – Young Veterans who joined the military after high school and went off to war are at a disadvantage when competing for civilian jobs with peers who didn’t serve. Vets often don’t have easily translatable civilian skills, nor do they have the network of civilian business and social contacts that other young people have. Unless they apply with companies who place a priority on hiring Veterans, they are in a tough spot competing with other job seekers. Given that Connecticut is home to some very large defense contractors, there should be an even greater emphasis on hiring veterans and offering incentives for businesses that do so. Existing laws should be changed to allow well-trained, occupation specific (special forces, infantry, military police) to work as School Resource Officers in Connecticut Schools.

Veteran Mental Health Services – Our state must prioritize mental health funding and undue
Dan Malloy’s disastrous cuts. Upon returning home, our troops are not receiving proper medical and psychological evaluation or counseling. It’s up to them to seek the help they need and often this help is not easy to find or to access. Twenty two veterans across the nation commit suicide every day. This sad reality is mostly targeted at post-9/11 veterans. The CT VA, in coordination with the Federal VA, must continue to push leaders for increased mental health providers and easier access to treatment centers.


7. SENSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS

We all want clean water and air, and to preserve the beauty of our State. We are blessed with such wonderful environmental surroundings and we must be stewards of these assets. An important step towards doing that is to stop the Malloy Administration in Hartford from swapping and selling open space that belongs to our residents, with absolutely no input from the local community. These deals have been questionable at best and undoubtedly not in the best interest of our residents or our environment. This is one step we can take to ensure that our natural resources will be here for future generations to enjoy.

Additionally, we must go a step further with our environmental stewardship and make it both business- friendly as well as a safeguard. The simplest way to do this is to align Connecticut’s environmental policy with national standards. This one step will make it easier for the business community to keep updated on compliance requirements. We must seek to audit all environmental regulations and ensure that those which are good policies or unique to Connecticut’s natural environment remain. However, these are countless policies that can be assimilated with EPA regulations while having little to no impact on the environment, but a tremendous impact on our pursuit of growth and renewal, especially in our urban centers. Reasonable and sensible environmental regulations and enforcement can go hand in hand with a pro-business attitude.

8. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES REFORM

Malloy’s cuts to our most vulnerable – One of the most tragic results from the devastating Malloy economy has been the cuts to the programs that serve our most vulnerable citizens. There have been no increases to the private providers since 2007. Being able to provide a true safety net and care for those who cannot care for themselves has always been a hallmark of Connecticut. Sadly, each year as our deficit grows these services are among the first to be cut. My administration will seek to partner with the nonprofit community providers and state human service agencies to not only deliver these critical services, but make them more affordable for our residents.

Harnessing the power of nonprofits – Connecticut can save over $150,000 per person per year by providing residential opportunities in the community for people with intellectual disabilities. Converting state operated facilities to private nonprofit providers can result in real savings. Our nonprofit partners have been held to a higher standard for decades and have delivered quality care to people with disabilities and their families, while maintaining state licensing and regulatory mandates.

The nonprofit sector has also proven to be less expensive yet more capable of performing higher quality work with better outcomes and significantly more efficiencies.

A study by the Legislative Program Review and Investigation Committee found the quality of care in these facilities is just as good and often better than state services. Over 90% of residential services to people with intellectual disabilities are serviced by private providers. Connecticut needs to move it to 100% and replicate that model for other social services provided by the state.

Listen to the experts – Implement the recommendations presented by the “Licensing and Certification Work Group” which had representation from both the state and nonprofit sectors, who worked collaboratively to create more efficiencies and eliminate duplicative and unnecessary regulations in the licensure processes. We need more partnership between the state agencies and nonprofit providers
to recommend even more efficiencies in the deliverance of these services.

  • Consider expanding work, training, and volunteer requirements for able-bodied childless residents to preserve precious resources for those truly in need.
  • Work within federal requirements to close loopholes that allow fraud and abuse in multiple welfare programs by tightening residency requirements and increasing penalties for prohibited purchases and illegal cash withdrawals from EBT cards.
  • Create an employment program to encourage employers to hire those transitioning off assistance through training subsidies and tax credits.
  • Require photo identification on assistance cards.
  • Increase enforcement of existing rules and improve
    monitoring software to better detect and prevent fraud and abuse.

Stop Medicaid Fraud – Connecticut currently has an antiquated method of uncovering fraud and abuse in its $4 billion portion of the Medicaid program. Doctors are randomly selected for review. Since most doctors are honest and comply with state and federal law, the result of this process results in minimal findings of fraudulent behavior. Other states are deploying analytical tools which search through the voluminous amounts of data to find anomalies in the billing practices of health care professionals. Using these anti-fraud solutions, the State of North Carolina discovered a doctor who “worked”, on average, 60 hours per day. On 17 days, this physician logged in more than 100 hours. The total cost was $1.79 million. At an average 2% recovery rate the state would save $80 million. This work could be done with no upfront cost to our taxpayers by changing existing procurement regulations to allow for contingency fees to be paid to a vendor only after they have successfully uncovered fraud, returning the resulting savings to the state treasury. This same technology could be used to uncover tax, unemployment and workers compensation fraud which would result in even greater savings.

Take on the Opioid Crisis – The State of Connecticut needs to address the opioid crisis head-on. In 2017, 1,011 people died in our state alone as a result of opioid use which is a 150% increase over the previous 5 years. Since 2013, grant funding has decreased to folks most vulnerable to addiction by 19%. We need to rely more heavily on local mental health authorities (LMHA) run by private nonprofit providers. These providers are already serving several communities effectively and delivering positive results. The state can save more than $7,000 per client per year if it converted LMHA’s to nonprofit operation.

9. TRANSPARENCY AND ETHICS

Connecticut has an initiative called “Open Connecticut” which enables our residents to see how government is affected by revenue (tax) increases or decreases. It allows people to see how much state employees earn and see where their tax dollars are spent.
It seems curious that residents can’t see what their government would look like with less expenditures.
Under my administration, we would build upon these existing features and create a completely interactive government that allows for our residents to be as immersed as they wish in their government. Of the people, by the people and for the people. No more, and no less.

10. RESPECT FOR BOTH THE CONNECTICUT AND UNITED STATES CONSTITUTIONS.
The reason that our government has a constitution is to set forth in writing the powers that a particular government are allowed to have. If a power is not prescribed in these documents, then it is not a power of that government.

We as a society have lost part of this understanding. As a former teacher of nearly 15 years, I can say that the main reason for this is that there is not enough time dedicated to the understanding of our constitution in school, particularly the Bill of Rights.Those rights as prescribed by our founding fathers, make up the basis for our nation. We must pass the understanding of these inalienable rights on to our children so that we can guard against their erosion through misunderstanding and lack of knowledge. Each of these rights were granted by our founding fathers for a purpose and it is imperative that our youth understand these reasons.