Flanigan for Senate

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What our campaign is up to.


An Elaboration on Some of my Points on the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic is one of the more complicated issues politicians have to approach. While many people view it as a black and white issue, legislators have to keep in mind both medical professionals and law enforcement. The first point I made was to work with the opposition party to construct meaningful legislation. I have been very open with my criticisms of the Democratic Party in Connecticut. However, our differences must be put aside. I pledge that I will always stay open-minded and consult all members of the legislature, as well as members of the private sector whom it directly involves. Party politics will not work. We owe it to our constituents to prioritize their health and safety.

The second point I made was to increase education and work with medical professionals to prevent addiction in the first place. I believe we need to make a strong push for opioid education in our schools. Local D.A.R.E programs and mandated health classes often take a look at drugs, but do not place any emphasis on opioids. We have had a record amount of opioid related deaths in Connecticut, and we’re still trending in the wrong direction. Preventing addiction needs to be a priority in our schools. By adopting a well-rounded, evidence-based curriculum that challenges misconceptions of opioids, we can begin to heal.

Furthermore, medical professionals need clear policies. Legislators and their aides have seen a surge in emails and phone calls from uncertain medical professionals regarding dosages. We need to eliminate confusion! In addition to this, we should provide continuing education for the medical professionals.

Finally, we need to consult these professionals when writing our legislation. With all due respect to my fellow political practitioners (or at least the majority), we are not doctors. With this simple fact in mind, we need to gather the best information possible from those who are in order to make educated decisions moving forward.

The third detail I pointed out was ensuring the proper resources are available for those who are struggling with addiction. We as a state need to invest in life saving NARCAN, as well as long term rehabilitation. Aftercare is just as important as detoxification, and I intend to lead a campaign to let addicts know what options are available to them.

Throughout this process, I will also unconditionally support law enforcement in their search for opioid traffickers.

I will always be open to considering innovative new measures that can help curb this epidemic. Have any ideas? Hear about something? Email me: tylerflaniganlegislature@gmail.com

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Expanding on my Ideas Regarding Education

The first two points I made regarding education work hand in hand. Before I formally announced my candidacy, I visited local manufacturers throughout the district to gain a better understanding of how they work, and more importantly, what they need moving forward. All of the companies made it a point to acknowledge flaws in the educational system. One company emphasized the importance of vocational schools, identifying multiple jobs that pay in the 60-80K range (immediately after school) that do not require a college education. Another company pointed out that specific training programs in college were required, yet none of the state universities offered them, despite previous lobbying efforts. If elected, I will meet with all of these companies again, put together a specific and detailed plan, and approach all the universities and promote these programs. 

It's time we re-evaluate spending at state universities. These schools exist to serve the students, not the other way around. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education found in a review that UCONN spends more on administration than the 71 other public research universities nationwide. Of the $49,739 UConn spent on each student during the 2010-11 school year, $8,493 went to pay for non-classroom administrative costs. These costs make up 17 percent of the university’s budget. The U.S. Department of Education reported that in the fall of 2011, the university employed 289 full-time executive/administrative/managerial employees. Additionally, there were 830 full-time staff classified as “clerical and secretarial.”

This administrative bloat hasn’t improved. As a student at the University, I believe it’s time to conduct a thorough review of those at the top of the chain in Storrs. It’s time to evaluate whether we are being as effective as possible. I will be a strong advocate for students and for smart spending tailored towards serving the student body.

What do you think? Leave a comment or email me at tylerflaniganlegislature@gmail.com

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Some Changes to Consider with our Treatment of Veterans

I rarely make campaign promises, mainly because of today’s unpredictable political climate. Yet I made one promise on my website: I will be the state’s fiercest defender of veterans. I will work hard to ensure that all contributions and funding intended for the Rocky Hill Veterans Home is only used at the at the Home. I will also work incredibly hard to improve all living conditions.

In addition to this, I will propose a 100% property tax exemption for disabled veterans (by amending Title 27 of Connecticut’s General Statutes).

What do you think? Leave a comment or email me at tylerflaniganlegislature@gmail.com

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Solutions to our Infrastructure Problem

I alluded to the “red tape” in my second point. I will meet with construction leaders and identify ways to streamline the administrative process for rebuilding and enhancing our roads, bridges, airports and tunnels.

We should encourage our local banks to consider financing more economic development in our state. Various programs such as the Community Investment Act and low-cost loans from the Federal Small Business Loan Program could provide an incentive for Connecticut based banks to support projects to improve our infrastructure. It will allow them to increase their business activity, create more local jobs for construction projects and improve the quality of life for all residents.

In a PPP, a government agency contracts with the private sector to rebuild an airport, transportation system or other critical assets. The private sector partner brings the technology, expertise and actual experience running a business. The private partner funds part of the cost of construction, allowing us to improve the state’s transportation system without adding to our already massive budget deficit. Other states have used this model to improve the quality of their infrastructure – faster, cheaper and better than the state government has any chance of doing. With the proper supervision and an open-minded person eager to negotiate these partnerships, PPP’s can be a very efficient way to rebuild our state. It will take all the tools at our disposal to repair years and years of neglect to our roads and bridges. But we have many assets to draw on and with the proper leadership, we can begin the process of rebuilding our state now!

What do you think? Leave a comment or email me at tylerflaniganlegislature@gmail.com

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My Plan to Save Connecticut’s Economy

We need a bold statement – a bona fide competitive advantage – to get businesses to start here, expand here, and relocate to Connecticut – and quickly – so that the number of jobs, number of businesses, and labor force participation all start moving in the right direction again.

Step 1: Phase out Corporate Income Tax and Business Entity Tax Over 2 Years

  • Eliminating the Corporate and Business Use taxes, reducing regulatory interference will provide stimulus for companies to rediscover everything our state has to offer.
  • Our corporate tax raises less than 5.0% of the state’s total tax revenues, but Connecticut is uncompetitive with its neighbors and rivals. Repeal is an affordable and important way to carve a competitive niche relative to economic development marketing.
  • In recent months, the headquarters of GE, Alexion, and Aetna left. Bristol-Myers and Konica Minolta have also announced plans to depart.
  • Since 1991, we have seen the slowest job growth in the entire nation. We lost 6,600 jobs in October 2017 alone.
  • Our labor force participation continues to decline – only 66% of the adult population is working or looking for work – 1/3 are on the sidelines.

Step 2: Phase out State Income Tax Over 8 Years

  • Introduce an across-the-board income tax cut over eight years tied to the attainment of revenue targets.
  • Our income tax destroys growth! For the 15 years preceding the Connecticut State Income Tax (1976 to 1991), our state economy grew faster than any other state. For the 25 years after the tax (1991-2016), our growth is 46th in the nation.
  • Since 1960 only 11 states have introduced a state income tax. In each of those 11 states, every economic metric is down – population, gross state product, and total tax revenues. Adding an income tax reduced gross tax revenues – in every instance!
  • A study by the Cato Institute showed that over 5 years: the 5 states that increased taxes the most had zero job growth and the 5 states that decreased taxes had the most job growth at 10.8%.

Step 3: Eliminate the Gift and Estate Taxes Immediately

  • The majority of states have already done away with both the gift and estate taxes as they drive residents to other tax-free states!
  • We are the only state with both an estate and a gift tax!
  • They raise only about 1 percent of the state’s total tax revenues each year – but cost so much more than that in the slowing of our economy.
  • These taxes are causing more people to leave Connecticut than any other state (except West Virginia).
  • An astounding $6 billion of adjusted gross income has left for Florida alone in the past 10 years.

Step 4: Embrace zero-based budgeting to reduce spending

  • Zero-based budgeting starts with a “blank piece of paper” not an already bloated budget with special interests and sacred cows baked in.
  • You add back in only the services absolutely needed while finding creative ways to do things cheaper.
  • Even with “fixed” costs like debt service and SEBAC, 20 to 25% of CT’s budget is “discretionary.”
  • With a two-year budget exceeding $40 billion, there are plenty of opportunities to identify savings and efficiencies.

Steps to do this:

  • Review every department and agency for waste, fraud, and abuse
  • Reward, with whistleblower protection, employees with cost savings ideas.
  • Contract out public services to the private sector, starting with the DMV
  • Consider more public-private partnerships to share the cost of aging infrastructure
  • Reduce SEBAC – lower staff via attrition, defined contribution plan for non-vested employees, “revisit” overall contract extension.

What do you think? Leave a comment or email me at tylerflaniganlegislature@gmail.com

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Rep. Guerrera: “You See a Tax, I See A User Fee”

I wanted to briefly comment on a quote that has left many constituents enraged and disappointed. I myself am disappointed that the Democrats continue to dismantle our state’s finances and dismiss the tax burdens they have put on hardworking Connecticut residents. My message to everyone in District 9 and throughout the state: I hear you. I empathize with you. Most importantly, I will serve you! Please, send a message in November, and say no more to failed tax and spend policies.

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Are we Doing Enough? An Analysis of our Policies Concerning Sexual Assault

As a college student, I have paid particular attention to sexual assault policies on college campuses. I believe there are some important reforms we can take.

Connecticut is currently struggling with a backlog of rape kits. More than 800 kits are yet to be tested due to tons of delays in state labs. I want to propose the implementation of a tracking system that can follow the path of the kit throughout the entire process. The victim would be notified when the kit is submitted into the lab, when it is entered into the DNA database, and when there is a match. With this, we can also create a multidisciplinary taskforce or workgroup comprised of law enforcement, crime lab personnel, prosecutors, victim advocates, and sexual assault forensic examiners to develop recommendations.

To promote productivity, I believe the legislature should mandate a deadline that kits be tested by. If the state labs cannot meet the deadline, kits should be sent to private labs.

Colorado’s kit legislation resulted in new leads and convictions within the first 18 months. A total of 3,542 untested rape kits were collected from roughly 300 law enforcement agencies from across the state. Over the course of those 18 months, the state spent 3.5M and used four out of state laboratories to test all of the kits. The results were simply incredible: 1,561 DNA profiles were produced and generated 691 investigative leads. The successful testing of these kits offered justice to hundreds of victims of sexual assault.

In most cases, the decision on whether to send a rape kit for testing rests solely with the officer in charge of the case. Officers and detectives tend to choose not to test kits if the victim is unable to identify an attacker, or if for whatever reason, the officer doesn’t perceive the victim as credible. Furthermore, officers can (understandably) misinterpret survivor’s reactions and choices in the immediate aftermath of the assault or lack understanding of the trauma they just went through. We need to seriously rethink some of the procedural obstacles. Changing this part of the law can also exonerate the wrongly accused. Hundreds of people have been exonerated through this method according to the Innocence Project.

Thanks to kit testing, we saw for the first time someone cleared of a crime without the convicted person requesting a new trial. There person who was actually guilty of the crime could not be prosecuted because of the state’s existing statute of limitations law. The violent criminal walked free while an innocent man served 12 years in prison. Legislative changes would make for a fairer criminal justice system.

With all that being said, we all need to be more responsible. For a truly equal system, I also will propose harsher penalties for those who falsely accuse another of sexual assault. We can completely change our culture, through accountability and morality.

What do you think? Leave a comment or email me at tylerflaniganlegislature@gmail.com

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