A letter from State Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown:
Happy New Year! Many of us make resolutions to lose weight, exercise more or to spend more time with our families and friends. I think our state elected leaders should all make a few resolutions as well. Resolutions which put the taxpayers first.
For example, let’s resolve to:
Remember where Main Street is. What we saw all too often in Hartford this past year was a focus on big, established businesses. We offered many of them millions and millions of your tax dollars in return for a pledge to stay here in Connecticut. These businesses were not even threatening to leave. Our leaders chose to back Wall Street, not Main Street. They picked winners and losers. As a struggling small business owner myself, I viewed that as a smack in the face. Small businesses drive our job growth. They allow our main streets to be vibrant. Let’s not forget these jobs engines in 2012.
Stop saying, “Connecticut is open for business.” Until we lower taxes, red tape and regulations for businesses of all sizes, we are most certainly not open for business. Talk is cheap. The business community wants action. They want government to get out of their way and to stop burdening them. We will start making progress when we start listening to what they have to say.
Do a better job attracting families and businesses. Let’s do everything we can to keep those who are here, here. Let’s also do everything we can to make our state a place where businesses want to grow. This year’s record-breaking tax increase on state residents was not the way to go about that. Higher taxes will only continue to drive people to move to states that are more affordable.
Stop swiping the state’s credit card so much. In 2011, we spent like there was no tomorrow. We maxed out our state credit card, but that didn’t slow our leaders down. A $600 million busway from New Britain to Hartford? Will you ever use it? Well, you the taxpayer paid for that misguided, wasteful project, and you paid for it with borrowed money. Guess who will end up paying those busway credit card bills? Your children and your grandchildren. Think they will ever use it? How fitting it would be for Visa or Master Card to post billboards up along that busway route. I will continue to be the voice of reason in Hartford on this out-of-control spending. It boils down to this: We can’t afford it, and we burden future generations with it.
Stop rushing dangerous new policies through the legislature without fully vetting them. Earlier this year, we became a ‘soft-on-crime’ state. You may not have noticed, because the policy was rushed through the legislative process without a public hearing. You never got to weigh in on it, because your elected leaders made it impossible for you to do so. Now, violent criminals, including rapists, child molesters, arsonists and animal abusers can get out of jail early by simply obeying prison rules. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a reckless policy that will continue to make our streets more dangerous, and you were rendered powerless to say anything about it.
On a positive note, let’s continue the momentum we create when we create tax incentive zones for small businesses and manufacturers to grow right here in our region. The redevelopment zone is a perfect example. We took a big step , and when the zone is finalized we will create an environment in which they can thrive. Businesses throughout our region will benefit, and that’s why I have fought so hard for this policy. Common-sense solutions are hard to come by at the State Capitol, but the redevelopment zone is a winner which should be replicated around the state.
I firmly believe that when government puts taxpayers first, instead of special interests, we all win out in the end. That’s what I plan to continue doing in 2012. As always, I urge you to contact me at Rob.Kane@cga.ct.gov or (800)-842- 1421 with your thoughts and comments.
From the Kane family to yours: we wish you all a healthy and happy new year.
State Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown, (www.senatorkane.com) represents the 32nd Senatorial district, which includes: Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Roxbury, Watertown and Woodbury.