House: 46th District

REPLAY OF DEBATE

CANDIDATES

Emmett D. Riley, Democrat

Endorsed - View The Day Editorial Endorsement

Occupation

Legislator

Town

Norwich

Incumbent

Yes

Contact

Phone: 860-889-6228

Email: emmettriley@hotmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

45

Family

Husband of Attorney Melissa Riley, Norwich,CT, Father of Owen D. Riley, Son of Dennis & Winifred Riley, Norwich,CT Nephew of Mary Miskiewicz, Norwich, CT The youngest of five sons.

Education

Matriculated at Eastern Connecticut State University

Civic Involvement

Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. (TVCCA), Board of Directors Norwich Baseball Stadium Authority, Recording Secretary, former Board Member Norwich Democratic Town Committee Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Past President Norwich Golf Course Association, former Board Member

Elected/appointed offices held

Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA) Norwich Baseball Stadium Authority Norwich Democratic Town Committee

Other government service

Legislative Aide, Senator Charles H. Allen III, New Haven, Connecticut General Assembly Assistant Clerk Banks Committee, Senator Martin Looney, New Haven, Connecticut General Assembly

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

As a native son of Norwich, my parents, Dennis and Winifred Riley, instilled in me a love for this community, its citizens and its history. I was raised to appreciate that I have a duty to serve my community and to work to improve the quality of life of my neighbors. I have proven that I can work even with people who do not share my views to achieve a common goal. I will continue to provide a strong voice and effective leadership in Hartford.

Estimates of the state's unfunded pension and benefit liability for retired teachers and state employees are in the tens of billions of dollars. Should the state continue offering a defined benefit pension plan or switch to some type of 401(k) defined contribution plan, which has become standard in the private sector? Please explain why you do or do not support such a change.

Our teachers and state employees provide a great service to us all, and we have all benefited from their work and dedication. The defined benefits plan is a vested right and a bargained-for benefit. The state entered into a contract with its employees that it cannot and should not break. Rather than engaging in a race to the bottom, we as a state should focus on ways of improving the opportunities for all our citizens to secure their futures whether through education, job creation or financial security.

If a bill came before the General Assembly to repeal or amend the gun control law passed last session after the school shootings in Newtown, would you vote to amend the law? If so, what would you want to change?

We suffered a horrible tragedy and loss in this state and nation when our children and teachers in Newtown were killed. I would not vote to repeal the law we passed with bipartisan support.

Rob Dempsky, Republican/Independent

Occupation

Poker Dealer

Town

Norwich

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-608-4483

Email: DempskyForStateRep@gmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

40

Family

My mother has recently moved to Florida, and I have a brother, sister, aunt and two uncles who live locally, along with nephews and nieces, and Godparents who live in Norwich.

Education

Montville High School Graduate, Attended the University of Connecticut

Civic Involvement

National Eagle Scout, Assistant Scoutmaster

Elected/appointed offices held

Montville Planning and Zoning Board

Other government service

None

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

As the representative of the 46th District, I will return accessibility and accountability to Norwich, and be a strong advocate for sensibility in the General Assembly, instead of the representation that we've had for the last two years. Between the election and the start of the 2015 session, I will hold several town hall style meetings to hear the concerns and field the questions of those who I haven't already met in my door to door travels. Once each legislative session is underway, I will have at least two of these meetings available to constituents so that there will be little to no delay between the news of the issues being discussed in Hartford, and the feedback of my constituents regarding it. When the legislature is not in session, I will hold at least one meeting each month, so that people will continue to have the opportunity to engage in discussion not only with me, but with their neighbors and others. The mismanagement of the state an irresponsibility of its elected officials has put us all in a very bad position. To correct it, we will need principled, responsible adults who will act to restore freedom and prosperity to Connecticut, make sensible and sustainable reductions in spending, and return Connecticut to the business friendly environment that it once was, and under which it prospered. These things can, and must be done. To do so requires leadership. I can help to provide that leadership.

Estimates of the state's unfunded pension and benefit liability for retired teachers and state employees are in the tens of billions of dollars. Should the state continue offering a defined benefit pension plan or switch to some type of 401(k) defined contribution plan, which has become standard in the private sector? Please explain why you do or do not support such a change.

The recent state of Connecticut's budget and our inability to pay for it in full should prompt us all to examine ways to cut spending. The very first cut that should be made to the annual budget should be the pensions that are currently doled out to members of the General Assembly. The state should not now, nor should have it ever granted pension plans to any volunteer, public service office. While I am not in favor of cuts to state employee plans that have been negotiated for previously, I would like to see an effort to encourage current workers to invest a portion of their income into a 401(k) plan. I would particularly like to see a plan that will match the employee contribution up to a certain percentage of their pay, in exchange for a slightly greater reduction in the obligation of the state to their pension plan. This would create a mutually beneficial arrangement between the employee and the state, whereby the state saves a portion of their annual budget outlay, and the employee gains the opportunity to earn greater returns from private sector investments and thus, have more money available to them upon their retirement. Finally, I strongly favor eliminating state funded pensions for newly hired state employees and returning to them the responsibility of enrolling in plans that are abundant in the private sector. The legitimate roles of state government are those things that individuals and local municipalities are unable to accomplish on their own. Preparing for one's retirement is something that an individual is entirely capable of accomplishing on his or her own, and as such, is something in which the state should have no role. We should honor our current obligations, but cease to create new ones which we cannot afford.

If a bill came before the General Assembly to repeal or amend the gun control law passed last session after the school shootings in Newtown, would you vote to amend the law? If so, what would you want to change?

As the representative of the 46th District in the General Assembly, I will actively seek to repeal the gun control law, SB 1160, commonly referred to as the Sandy Hook Bill. Adding new laws and placing more restrictions and regulations on law abiding citizens is unnecessary and many would argue (myself included) unconstitutional. At some point before SB1160 is repealed, I will work to have a separate law in place immediately following that repeal which would address the one aspect of SB 1160 that correctly identifies the root cause of these mass shootings, mental health. In preparation to write this legislation, I will consult with experts in the field of mental health who would best know if the 60 month and 6 month prohibitions on individuals with prior history of mental health issues are based on empirical data, or if they were determined in an arbitrary fashion. I will also seek to allow for individuals who fall under the reach of this law to submit to (at their own expense) to a psychological evaluation of their competency to possess a firearm. This evaluation will be submitted in conjunction with the application to the appropriate local municipality. If approved by the local authorities, it will then be transmitted with the application to the Department of Public Safety, should the applicant decide to seek statewide licensing.

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