As the State Rep for CT’s 37th District of East Lyme & Salem, my goals will be to restore fiscal responsibility to the State’s budgeting process, bring civility & collaboration back to the political process & bring people together for a better future.
Hugh McKenney lives in Salem, a town he and his family have called home for the last 23 years. Hugh grew up in Dracut, Massachusetts and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1984. He began his career with Yankee Atomic Electric Company at Rowe, MA as a reactor engineer. During this time, he met and married his best friend, Robyn Sullivan.
Small businesses, start ups and diversification of our current employer base will ensure long-term sustainability in economic growth and a high quality of life in our region. We need to ensure that our young people entering the work force can find good paying jobs and the ability to secure affordable housing, access to our quality schools, shoreline parks and the unique cultural gems in our region.
The administration elected this fall will be facing a $2 Billion deficit in 2019-2020 and a 2020-2021 deficit of $2.58 Billion. This is without consideration of the unfunded liability in our state employee and teachers’ pensions. We need to implement:
I support common sense gun laws that protect the public while maintaining Second Amendment rights. Bump stocks and “ghost guns” (guns parts that can be order on-line to produce a working weapon) should be outlawed in the State, as they are designed to bypass existing laws. Americans have a right to own guns, while using them safely and legally. These rights must be balanced against the health and safety of the public.
In order to maintain a constant, predictable stream of income and to maintain our bridges and roads, a tolling system is necessary. The plan needs to be thoughtfully considered with community input. Well-maintained roads are key to strong economic growth. I do support the lock box amendment on the ballot this November as the only way to ensure that are transportation funds our secured.
I support environmental protections to ensure the purity of our drinking water and air and feel we need to support improving climate resiliency along our coastal shoreline. Educating the public about the importance of open space along with best practice management of our lawns and septic systems is vital to the health of our water ways and our residents. We need to leave our Earth a better place for our children and grandchildren.
In addition, our region must ensure we have a diverse energy supply to secure our economic future. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric must be leveraged to their full potential. Until that time, nuclear power must be maintained to ensure a diverse energy supply. The state, in partnership with ISO New England, must work collaboratively to improve our energy diversity.
In addition to our need to resolve the unfunded retirement plans for our teachers and educators who are State Employees, Connecticut must also fully fund its educational grants to municipalities. Federal and State governments have placed mandates on our municipalities which they have not been willing to fully fund. This is especially true when it comes to special education costs. The Minimum Budget Requirement (MBR) needs to be tailored from its, “one size fits all,” to a more realistic fit with options for small towns or shared districts.
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