ENFIELD/EAST WINDSOR, CT — The 2020 election is heating up in Connecticut and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but every state representative and senate seat is up for grabs. All five of Connecticut's congressional seats are up for grabs as well.
There are 151 seats in the state House of Representatives and 36 in the state Senate. Democrats currently hold majorities in both chambers with a 91 to 60 lead over Republicans in the House and a 22 to 14 lead in the Senate.
Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and is publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
Carol Hall, an Enfield resident, is running for re-election to the state House of Representatives in District 59.
How long have you lived in Enfield: 44 years
Family: Husband Fred, children Heather, Zachary, Wesley and five grandchildren
Occupation and years of experience: Self employed businesswoman for the last 34 years, social worker prior to that for approx. 2 years
Elected and appointed offices held: 59th State Rep. for 4 years, Town Council for 13 years and 2 years on the Ethics Commission
Does anyone in your family work in politics / government: No
Campaign website or Facebook page: facebook.com/repcarolhall59
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
This year we are facing a number of issues. One is the Pandemic and all the negative fallout from it. This is not a singular issue but is inextricably linked to several other profoundly serious issues: Our State and local businesses are suffering, people losing their jobs and having to deal with unemployment, home schooling, social issues, mental health issues and substance abuse problems are growing in number and severity. We need to foster a more collaborative approach to dealing with these problems and avoid a “One size fits all” “Big government know best.” posture. My ability to leverage longstanding relationships, developed from nearly twenty years of public service with local and State stakeholders, understanding the political landscape and the ability to work across the isle will be of paramount importance in dealing with these issues, going forward.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
The most obvious difference is I have nearly 20 years of experience in legislating. This includes A nearly constant to fight limit frivolous Democratic spending and constantly increasing of our taxes. Actions which are driving businesses out of our State and communities, pushing retirees out of our State, and have placed our once thriving State to the bottom of this list of affordable places to live. I have fought for higher funding for our schools which the Democrats continue to under fund. Fighting against partisan, and dangerous bills like the horrible “Police Reform” bill that was just passed, in emergency session, without input from the public or Law Enforcement and which has hurt our police and endangered our communities.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
In the past four years, as the State Representative for the 59th District, I have continued to fight against unfunded mandates that drive up our local taxes. I fought for the spending and bonding caps in the budget. This was especially important because it has left us with a strong “Rainy Day” fund which will be invaluable in helping address the huge deficits we are now seeing. It is important to note that this something the Democrats did not want in the budget, but when the senate was tied and the house was close in numbers, the Democrats were forced to work with us and ended with these bonding and spending caps in place. Experience, tenacity, and the ability to work across the aisle won the day. As the Chairperson of the School Security Working Group, I have written and passed legislation that makes our schools safer. Many of the initiatives that were taken after the Sandy hook tragedy had lost momentum and needed to be updated. We are getting back on track and will continue to keep our children, their safety and their education, a priority. I have worked with our local fire departments to pass legislation for funding for background checks for their volunteers. I have worked on legislation and got passed legislation for funding for our Veterans for Honor Guards at funerals. The Democrats had removed this from the budget as a cost saving measure. The cost is minimal, and I found it inconceivable that we would fail to Honor our Veterans and their families, who have given so much and ask so little. I fought for the bonding for the construction of our schools. I helped pass legislation to lower drug prices for our seniors like insulin. I have written legislation while working with our police department to enable our police to take people that have overdosed on opioids and been administered Narcan to be placed into protective custody and transported to the hospital for help. This legislation was modeled on the same program that our good neighbors to our north, Massachusetts has. This is common sense legislation and adds to the tools of our police department to be able to get people with opioid addition the help they need. I have a 100 percent attendance and voting record. I am Honored to have been twice elected by the people of the 59th and take the responsibility to share their voices and concerns with the Legislators very seriously. We have had a remarkably busy four years and recently with the pandemic we have had far more constituent work to keep us busy with folks having major issues with their unemployment benefits and small businesses trying to keep up with the constant changing restrictions.
Do you believe Connecticut needs reform when it comes to electric utility oversight? What steps, if any should be taken?
Yes, we need to restructure PURA. PURA is the regulating board for our power companies. We need to roll back the recent increases that PURA authorized. We pay way too much for our energy in this state, we need to break up the monopoly that ultimately raids our pocketbooks every month. This is going to take legislation to do and will begin next session. The bill that we just voted on is only a start but does not go far enough. There is far more work that needs to happen to have more accountability to our rate payers.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
The businesses in this state need less regulation and oversight, especially now during this pandemic. Notably our small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They have suffered tremendously like the rest of us, the federal dollars are pouring into the state and the states responsibility is to make sure they are distributed correctly in a quickly and timely manner.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
The one-party system is the state has put us dead last in recovery. I think until we work hard to get rid of the one-party system and learn to work across the aisle the outcome will continue to be the same. Higher taxes, less for your schools and people leaving our state in droves. We can’t keep electing a one-party system and expect things to change.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I have raised my family here in Enfield with my husband Fred. We now have the great pleasure to see our grandchildren raised here as well. I love this town and have spent almost 20 years serving it. Not just serving it by doing my day to day job but serving it as a volunteer over the years. It is important to me that we keep our town and state affordable for our seniors and families, that we take care of our education system by making sure it is fully funded and supporting our local businesses. I have continually worked for the residents of Enfield and East Windsor as your State Representative. It has been a great honor and a privilege of mine to serve our communities in this compacity and I humble ask to continue this work as your State Representative for the 59th district. I thank you for the trust you have placed in me over the years and will continue to work hard for you.