Art Linares, Jr., Seeking Re-Election to 33rd District State Senate Seat
The Race for 33rd District State Senate
Incumbent Republican State Senator Art Linares, Jr., of Westbrook is seeking to keep the seat in Hartford that he first won in 2012. He's again focusing on reducing taxes and improving the business climate in the state.
The 33rd District serves Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook. Linares faces Democrat Emily Bjornberg and Green Party candidate Colin Bennett in the Nov. 4 election.
Linares said his most important priority is growing jobs in the state.
"We need to get rid of the uncertainty for the business owners in Connecticut and we need to address the state's deficit and reform the state's tax code," said Linares. "Connecticut needs to become competitive with the surrounding states so we attract new businesses and retain the businesses we already have. Right now Connecticut has higher income, sales, and gas taxes than any of the other surrounding states."
He also explained that he wants to help ensure that the state comes up with a plan to pay back unfunded liabilities and supports lowering spending.
"We need to balance the budget without raising taxes and we need to let the small businesses in this state know that we are not going to balance that budget on their backs," said Linares.
Linares is a ranking member of the General Assembly's Banks Committee and the Select Committee on Children. He also serves on the Commerce and Education committees.
Linares is the co-founder of Greenskies Renewable Energy, a Middletown-based solar company. He graduated from Sykes College of Business at the University of Tampa, majoring in entrepreneurship. He worked, along with his partners, to develop his own company while he earned a college degree.
Linares said that he believes rebuilding Connecticut's roads and bridges is a top priority. He supported the "lockbox" on the Special Transportation Fund.
"This state has a 0.45-cent gas tax. Now that there is a lockbox in place, the Department of Transportation has the ability to work the plan and plan the work on infrastructure here," said Linares, who also would like to streamline the permitting process for businesses in Connecticut.
He added, "Right now, LLC businesses that have less than 50 employees pay the same $250 Business Entity Tax as larger businesses in the state, such as Sikorsky. That $250 is a lot to ask from small businesses in the current economic climate."
In an effort to keep those who attend and graduate from Connecticut colleges in the state after graduating, Linares has co-sponsored the "Learn Here, Live Here" bill, which would allow college students to create a savings account against their income tax in Connecticut and provide an incentive for students who graduate from Connecticut colleges or technical schools to establish new businesses in the state. That money can be withdrawn up to 10 years after graduation, by a participant, for the establishment of a new business in the state.
"Hopefully this will encourage young entrepreneurs to start businesses here and have the next big idea," said Linares.
Linares said he'd also support giving incentives to manufacturing in the state and aid to Connecticut's vocational education programs.
"One of the things I am most proud to have been able to accomplish while I have been in office is co-sponsoring the Senate bill which expands the state's manufacturing apprenticeship tax credit," said Linares.
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