Less than a month into the 2022 session, State Representative Stephen Harding (R-107) has outlined his priorities for this legislative session. Atop the issues Rep. Harding hopes to address include the economy, environment, education, business, and mental health.
I would like to utilize Connecticut’s current surplus in a fiscally responsibly and prudent way.
It is also critical for our State to be implementing policies that will help to grow our economy. We have seen improvement in Connecticut’s fiscal stability in recent years, and our economy has grown, but I will be committed to doing more to make Connecticut a more affordable place to live and do business in. For many years, business and individuals were leaving our state due to the growing tax burden. We must be committed to not growing that tax burden, particularly as our state continues to recover from COVID-19 and prices continue to rise due to inflation.
I look forward to continuing my work as Ranking Member on the Environment Committee in highlighting the pressing needs impacting our lakes Candlewood and Lillinonah. Invasive species have been a critical issue surrounding these bodies of water and I will be working diligently this session to secure a continued revenue source from the state to help address it.
Connecticut needs to reinvest in local education. For many years we have not held up our promises as a state in terms of local educational funding. I will be advocating for increased ECS funding and Excess Cost grants to schools. This increased funding to local schools will ease some of the burden on our municipalities, which in turn could help to curb increases in property taxes.
I will be strongly advocating for funding to address those individuals and businesses impacted by COVID, in order to assist with their recovery.
I will be in full support of crafting bipartisan solutions to address issues surrounding mental health and the impact and effects COVID-19 has had on our school children.
Locally, I will also be focused on state projects being implemented and completed locally. In particular, the Candlewood Lake Elementary School in Brookfield, currently under construction, as well as the left-hand turn signal being implemented on Federal Road in Brookfield (at the intersection of Shop Rite and Chic Fil A) which should finally be installed this summer.
In the second year of a two-year legislative cycle, the main goal of the legislature is to make any necessary adjustments to the budget adopted in the previous year. Any new bills or adjustments to previously passed laws must be budgetary related.
The 2022 legislative session will adjourn at midnight on Wednesday, May 4.
As always, it’s an honor to represent the towns of Bethel, Brookfield, and Danbury. Please reach out to me if you have an issue related to state government, need assistance with a state agency, or have a question you think I can help with.