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Posted inCT Viewpoints

New gas pipelines: An expensive risk our ratepayers and environment can’t afford

When gas pipeline explosions and fires killed one person, injured 25, and caused 0ver $800 million in property damage this September in Massachusetts, Connecticut state legislators called for an independent investigation to determine the extent of  leak-prone gas pipelines and to ensure we have appropriate inspection procedures to prevent a similar disaster from happening here.  These concerns are real and we must have answers.

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Workers want the Connecticut Retirement Security Program

Despite misleading claims by opponents, including CBIA, the Connecticut Retirement Security Program (CRSP) is not a state-run retirement plan. In fact it is a private sector solution to a growing retirement savings crisis.  Employees who invest in these voluntary and privately-run portable Roth IRA plans face no more risk than any other IRA investor, which includes me and, I am sure, many CBIA staff and business owners.

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Help protect the climate and create jobs with a transportation lockbox

This November, voters will have an opportunity to ensure that Connecticut has the resources needed to modernize our transportation system.  Voting “Yes” on the Transportation Revenue Lockbox Amendment will protect funding for repairing our state’s roads and bridges while expanding access to public transit.  Those investments will help reduce the traffic congestion that costs commuters time and money and chokes our cities with harmful pollution.

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Lawmakers let Connecticut sex traffickers off the hook

Little attention had been paid to a proposed bill — An Act Concerning Human Trafficking — that unfortunately died at the end of the 2018 Legislative Session. Given the significant attention and gains that Connecticut has made in recent years in the fight against human trafficking, it was a heartfelt defeat. For nearly a decade, Connecticut has been a leader in the nation in human trafficking reforms that better protect victims, more vigorously prosecute traffickers, and prevent continued victimization.

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The National Popular Vote is not a ‘workaround’

In your May 5 article Connecticut commits to national popular vote for president, you write that the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact “essentially is a constitutional workaround, a way to undo a 200-year-old element of the Constitution without amending it.” It’s disappointing to see the CT Mirror repeat this canard that was used by state legislators opposed to electing the president the way they are elected: where every vote cast matters and the candidate who receives the most votes wins. The NPV Compact is not a “workaround” that undoes the Electoral College.

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Huge rate increases on the horizon for new pipelines we do not need

An unpleasant surprise for Connecticut ratepayers that could cost billions of dollars is just around the corner, but the good news is that we still have a chance to stop it. What’s the surprise? Another round of huge rate increases is on the horizon from Eversource to build a new $6.6 billion fracked gas pipeline that our state doesn’t need. We have a chance to stop these rate hikes by supporting House Amendment #4118.

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Disenfranchising felons from the vote isn’t just wrong; it’s dumb

House Bill 5418, An Act Restoring Electoral Privileges to Felony Convicts Who Are on Parole, already has 31 Democratic co-sponsors but no public Republican support. As the bill nears a vote in the final days of the 2018 General Assembly, this is a mistake for Connecticut’s GOP. Connecticut Republicans need to support HB 5418 because they stand to gain as much as the Democrats do by refranchising parolees in Connecticut.

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CT’s working families will have to keep waiting for a fair workweek

On Tuesday night —ironically on May Day— Democratic Senators Joan Hartley and Gayle Slossberg voted with Senate Republicans to kill the Fair Workweek bill: SB 318 “A Bill to Stabilize Working Families by Limiting On-Call Shift Scheduling.” Coming a mere week before Connecticut’s legislature adjourns on May 9, this vote all but guarantees that families experiencing the instability that comes with “just-in-time” work scheduling practices will not see any relief.

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CSCU needs new management and leadership

As the legislative session draws to a close, the budget debate continues but in a much different environment than last year. Hopeful predictions for the future are changing the discussion from “slash and burn” to restoration and rebuilding. As you search for common ground in a budget that will demonstrate government’s responsibility to ensure the quality and availability of public services, we urge you to invest in public higher education by preventing the threatened closure of community colleges.

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The General Assembly can — and should — contain the cost of prescription drugs

As a physician, far too often, I see the consequences of unfair prescription drug pricing on patients in our community. One of the first patients I ever cared for at the primary care center where I currently practice was a middle-aged man with poorly controlled diabetes. His diabetes is in part uncontrolled because he cannot afford to pay for the medications and supplies needed to manage his condition. The Connecticut General Assembly has the power to contain the cost of prescription drugs and it’s time for them to act.

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Tracking non-fatal opioid overdose — time to get ahead of the curve

Every non-fatal opioid overdose represents an opportunity to help curb Connecticut’s opioid crisis, but we know little about the number and location of such poisonings. By mandating confidential data collection for suspected prehospital opioid overdose, Senate Bill 511, An Act Concerning Opioids, aims to address this issue. Since 2012, Connecticut has witnessed a 400 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths, and the number of non-fatal overdoses is certainly greatly increased too. Targeting opioid interventions to groups and communities experiencing high rates of non-fatal overdose may prevent future deaths.