By Connie Jagodzinski
Republican
I grew up in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and Missouri. There were limited job opportunities and I wanted to serve my country, so I joined the Air Force when I graduated. I served four years in Strategic Air Command and was the first woman in the computer processing departments on base.

I was glad to pave the path for the women who would follow and always received superb job reviews and commendations from my superiors and commanders, including two presidential oak leaf clusters.

Four years later I was honorably discharged, loaded up my U-Haul trailer and moved to Connecticut. It was a beautiful, affordable state brimming with businesses and opportunities.  Within a week, I had a good-paying job.

Things are very different now. People and businesses are fleeing the state. There aren’t enough good-paying jobs. Connecticut is drowning in debt and it’s one budget crisis and tax increase after another. I don’t want my kids and grandkids to have to leave the state where they were born and raised. And I don’t want this to happen to anyone else’s family, either. This is why I’m running for office.

Connecticut is broken but it doesn’t have to be this way. We need to make fundamental changes to the way our state is run. Legislators can no longer kick the problem down the road.  The day has come. The time is now. The need is desperate. If the voters of the 118th District honor me with their votes on November 6, I am ready to get to work.

We need to start cutting taxes. We’re one of the most heavily taxed states in the country but we’re caught in a never-ending budget crisis. For 30+ years the politicians have tried to solve every problem by raising taxes instead of actually addressing the spending issues. It hasn’t worked. The new legislature must focus on controlling spending and eliminating the waste and fraud which are a huge drain on taxpayers. The Fiscal Accounting Office has a mind-boggling long list of departmental mismanagement issues. These need to be acted on.We need to start living within our means and stop funding foolish projects like the construction at Silver Sands.  

Every department must be scrutinized. Only vital services to the elderly, children, the most needy and people with mental health problems should be exempt from cuts. That said, there are processes that could be streamlined, simplifying response time and ensuring faster action.

We can improve our transportation system without imposing tolls, a massive new tax. Recent studies have shown most toll money would come from Connecticut residents. Transportation money should be used to fix our dilapidated roads and collapsing bridges, not “appropriated” to balance budget shortfalls.

It’s time for change. You can help me make it happen on Election Day. I would be honored to serve you as your State Representative.