This 2019 session has been a real eye opener for me as a new legislator. Every day there seems to be a new proposal or effort at the State Capitol to have state government run every aspect of our daily lives. Taking away our freedoms and ability to choose what we as citizens want and don’t want. One of my fundamental guiding principles has been to strive and work for a limited role of government permitting people ¬to be free to make their own choices. I ask myself one question, does the state government have the authority, the constitutional authority to make those decisions?
Here are a few of the bills which go against this principle.
One of the most egregious pieces of legislation this session is Senate Bill 454 which would force the regionalization of our local school districts. This legislation will take away local control from our boards of education and instead give control to a regional board of education and state bureaucrats who will decide what is in the best interest for our children. Voluntary regionalization is ok for some services but should not be mandated. The idea that our school district would be forced to regionalize regardless of the position of our residents, students, teachers and administrators is the height of arrogance.
Senate Bill 771 would require any new construction (including 1 to 3 family homes) and buildings undergoing substantial renovation to have electric vehicle ready parking spaces and electric vehicle capable parking spaces. This bill is not only intrusive but costly to property owners.
House Bill 7006 would prohibit restaurants from including soft drink beverages on children’s menus and in children’s meals. This bill takes away freedom of choice by parents, hurts businesses and makes state government the de-facto parent. Bottom-line is this bill is big government that knows what’s best for our children.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have introduced some pieces of legislation that will give towns and people more control of their self-governance from the state.
House Bill 6627 would provide mandate relief and therefore taxpayer relief by allowing school boards greater authority to adjust their education budgets when there is reduced student enrollment. Current law prohibits Boards of Education from spending less even if student enrollment has decreased.
I have also introduced a bill to eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit (HB5697). This state tax credit is currently given to residents that don’t pay any state income taxes. Essentially, the state is redistributing wealth by taking hard-earned money from taxpayers and give that money to others who pay no state tax. I do not believe the government should be in the business of giving away our tax dollars.
Another bill, I have co-introduced (HB5626) would require able-bodied adults without dependent children to work or volunteer for a minimum of twenty hours a week to receive state assistance. Right now, there is no work requirement to receive any public assistance. You can be a healthy adult and still qualify for assistance. I believe the government should be used as a hand up and not a hand out. We need to help and encourage people to become productive members of society instead of constantly depending on the government.
I will continue advocating for a limited state government where you have the ultimate control over your own life. We must always remember that we the people… reap the benefits of the freedoms that so many have sacrificed and died for. And every time the government steps in and takes over, our freedoms are diminished and ultimately, we will have none.
I encourage you to contact me at the Capitol (860-240-8700) to discuss any issues or concerns. You can sign up for my email updates by visiting my website www.repmastro.com.