Challenger Adam Stillman, a Democrat, cites his experience serving in local government and as a community volunteer. He has served two terms on the Old Saybrook Board of Zoning Appeals and as a member of the American Red Cross Shoreline Steering Committee and the American Red Cross to the Rescue Board. He is an attorney in private practice; his past experience includes internships in the U.S. Congress, in U.S. attorney’s offices, and at the New York Supreme Court.
Regarding the recent Barron’s report that ranked Connecticut 50th among 50 states based on the size of its debt and pension obligations, Stillman sees as a major problem that 10 cents of every tax dollar goes to pay for state debt service. One step he’d support is a new law requiring no new appropriations unless a portion is applied toward paying down state debt. He does not support new tax increases as a way to find funds to pay down the state’s debt obligations.
He supports a balanced approach to deficit reduction adopted by Governor Dannel Malloy that relied on state employee give-backs, budget reductions, and tax increases.
Stillman doesn’t think that it’s fair going forward to now suddenly change the rules on which state employees relied for their retirement, as some have argued the state should do. He would support changes for new state workers. What’s most important now for Stillman is to make sure the state sets aside more money each year to better fund pension obligations already incurred.
“I don’t like taxes and wouldn’t support new tax increases, but I also believe that you can’t cut taxes without finding a way to pay for needed services and for the state’s debt,” said Stillman.
To add jobs in the state, Stillman, like his incumbent opponent Marilyn Giuliano, supports the legislature’s small business-focused jobs bill. He also, though, would like to see more tax incentives tied to hiring goals to attract and keep larger businesses like Jackson Labs.
Differing on labor issues with Giuliano, Stillman said he supports the state requirement that municipalities pay prevailing wages, equivalent to a union pay scale, on construction projects. He said that if municipalities tapped cheaper labor for this work, they wouldn’t be assured of a quality product. Stillman also said he supported Malloy’s recent executive order that gave personal care and child care workers the right to organize.