WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Daily Voice sent out a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year's election.
The following are the responses of Brandi Briggs, the Republican candidate for the State House of Representatives seat for District 136 (Westport). She is facing Democratic incumbent Jonathan Steinberg.
Name: Brandi Briggs Age: 39 Occupation: Attorney Affiliations : Representative Town Meeting, District 6, Board Member, Westport Young Woman’s League, Westport Family Y Water Rats, Member Long Lots PTA, Greens Farms Congregational Church Past offices: Currently serve on Westport's RTM, District 6 Current race: State Representative 136th District
If elected, what would you do to improve roads and trains in Fairfield County?
Connecticut’s transportation system is broken, and our current leadership in Hartford has failed to get our state moving again. This has an impact on our jobs, our families, and our quality of life. In order to improve our transportation system, we must protect the Special Transportation Fund and prioritize our resources on relieving traffic and congestion on I-95 and upgrading Metro-North’s bridges and tracks. We must also reform the state’s prevailing wage law so that we can keep down construction costs for transportation projects and fund more infrastructure improvements. Connecticut also needs to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy for transportation that utilizes our deep-water ports to increase commerce and jobs in the region, while also relieving truck traffic on I-95 and protecting our environment. We also need strong advocates representing the interests of commuting towns in Hartford, and I intend to be a leader on this important issue.
If elected, what is your position on state spending and the state budget?
It is clear that our state is spending too much and the Democrat majority in the legislature has failed to get our state budget under control. We are facing hundreds of millions of dollars in new budget deficits and billions in unfunded liabilities. In 2011, Governor Malloy and the Democrats passed the largest tax increase in Connecticut’s history, and we are still unable balance the state budget. This reckless spending has an impact on our economy and Connecticut’s long term fiscal outlook. I believe we must reduce government spending by consolidating government programs, rein in our crushing employee pension and benefit costs, and find opportunities to deliver government services more efficiently and cost-effectively through non-profit organizations and government partners.
What is another top issue or priority in your town or district that you would address in office?
As Westport’s next State Representative, it will be a priority of mine to relieve Westport from unreasonable and costly mandates from Hartford. This is a problem across several key issues, including education and housing and development. In education, I will fight to ensure that Westport parents, educators and administrators have a voice in how state education policies are implemented in our district. We know that in education one size does not fit all, and Westport should have discretion and flexibility in how we deliver a high quality education for every child in our district. Also, I will fight to repeal the state’s controversial 8-30g housing law which right now can potentially be exploited by outside real estate developers seeking to build hundreds of new apartments in our town by bypassing the Westport planning and zoning approval process. This has the potential to create more traffic, add hundreds of students to our schools, and drive up our property taxes. The 8-30g housing law undermines Westport’s authority in deciding local housing and development matters, and must be repealed.
Why should people vote for you?
I am asking Westport voters to support me on November 4th because I am committed to being their advocate in Hartford and fighting on their behalf on the issues that matter the most: jobs, taxes, education, transportation and the environment. As a mother of three young children, the daughter of aging parents, and an active volunteer in our community, I believe I am in touch with the voters of our district. I understand your hopes and concerns about the future, and I share them. I will be an independent voice for Westport and will work incredibly hard every day to do what is right for our town.
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