Commentary: 22nd Senate incumbent Anthony Musto

For four years it has been my honor to represent the 22nd District in the Connecticut Senate. In that time I have supported: job creation and training; reduced state spending; increased access to healthcare; and giving our cities and towns more local control. I am asking for your support for reelection this year.

The most important legislation I have worked on was aimed squarely at job creation. I supported tax incentives for businesses that hire Connecticut residents. I helped create the Step-Up Program to promote job creation for post-9/11 combat veterans, helping soldiers who come home from the war find jobs. I pushed for low-interest loans for businesses that invest in facilities and equipment in Connecticut. And I followed up with businesses in this district, ensuring that the programs are working and that our neighbors are benefiting from them.

Much of this was a bipartisan effort. I have worked closely with both Republicans and Democrats as chairman of the Human Services Committee. I worked to lower state healthcare costs by finding efficiencies in healthcare delivery and bringing federal dollars to the state, while still protecting doctors, hospitals and patients from deep service cuts. I am proud to say that every bill I brought to the floor this term passed with overwhelming bipartisan support — in fact, all but one passed unanimously.

But finding practical solutions to Connecticut's problems requires an understanding of the entire system of government affecting Connecticut, including local government. Having served as Trumbull's treasurer, I recognize the town's heavy reliance on property taxes and the inability of local officials to adjust tax policy to the needs of their individual towns.

This session I will propose reforming the property tax system to allow towns to adjust tax rates depending on the type of property, giving them the freedom to reduce taxes on their residents as they see fit. And I will continue to support state aid to municipalities, both as part of the state budget and in the form of direct grants like those I obtained for repairs to the Hillcrest Middle School pool, the senior center kitchen and the Nichols Fire District. As it stands, Trumbull's government increased budgeted spending this year by 4.5%, and actual spending over 5%. If the state did not send these funds to Trumbull, town spending would have increased almost 9% — all from property taxes.

Of course, I will continue to support giving local communities a stronger voice in the siting of cell towers, power and utility equipment, and in state road construction — all of which I have fought for in the past.

I hope you will support me on Nov. 6. I wish to thank the people of the 22nd District for the opportunity to represent you for the last four years. I also wish to congratulate my opponent for his willingness to get involved and his past service to Trumbull. Whomever you support, I hope you will exercise your right to vote this year.