The following is the sixth part of a series leading up to the special election for the Connecticut General Assembly’s open 112th District seat, representing Monroe and portions of Newtown. Each article will feature one question for the candidates.
MONROE, CT — As money becomes tighter, Monroe is among the suburban Connecticut towns bracing for potential reductions in state aid every year.
Whoever is elected as Monroe and Newtown’s next representative in Connecticut’s General Assembly will be tasked with bringing back a larger share of the tax dollars townspeople send to the state, in an effort to reduce the property tax burden for funding their public schools and infrastructure.
The Sun asked Republican, Tony Scott of Monroe, Democrat, Nick Kapoor of Monroe, and Independent Party candidate William “Bill” Furrier of Sandy Hook for their opinions on the issue.
The Sun will pose a series of questions leading up to Election Day, changing up the order of the 112th District candidates’ answers. Today, Bill Furrier will answer first.
What can be done to ensure Monroe and Newtown get their fair share of state aid for the district’s public schools, roads and other capital needs?
Bill Furrier: We should strive to bring home a percentage share of funding that closely approaches the percentage share of revenue we send to Hartford. Our entire team representing Monroe in Hartford needs to work together with the legislature to attend hearings and represent Monroe’s projects deserving grants.
School grants are critical and Monroe needs to protect our educational system by making sure our voices are heard in Hartford.
Tony Scott: Towns, like Monroe and Newtown, get penalized in Hartford because they are efficient with their spend. They use that as an excuse as to why we don’t need our fair share of funding for schools and infrastructure. It actually should be the other way around.
Cities should be penalized for spending frivolously and wasting taxpayers’ dollars. Instead, Hartford bails them out by giving them more than their fair share and funds that they will inevitably waste again.
It will not be easy, but I must and will be a strong advocate for our funding for the sake of our children.
Nick Kapoor: As a member of the Democratic majority, I will have “a seat at the table” — something that hasn’t happened in the past forty years. Whenever Hartford appropriates dollars to Monroe and Newtown for education and capital funding, I will ensure that money actually comes to Monroe and Newtown — and not a penny less.
We must also vastly improve the timing of the state budget. Many municipalities are forced to adopt their budgets long before the state has finalized its final numbers meaning that the towns don’t have real numbers when they are creating their own budgets.
Let’s get the state budget done early so towns and cities can budget much more accurately and reliably.