Noreen Kokoruda, House District 101

CONNECTICUT — The 2020 election is heating up in Connecticut and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but every state representative and senate seat is up for grabs.

All five of Connecticut’s congressional seats are up for grabs as well.

There are 151 seats in the state House of Representatives and 36 in the state Senate. Democrats currently hold majorities in both chambers with a 91 to 60 lead over Republicans in the House and a 22 to 14 lead in the Senate.

Connecticut Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns.

Noreen Kokoruda, a Madison resident, is running for House of Representatives District 101.

Age: No answer

Party affiliation: Republican Party

Family: No answer

Occupation:Legislator 9 years. Not for Profit Executive 14 years

Previous elected experience: Madison Board of Selectmen, Chairman of Madison Beach and Recreation Commission

Family members in government: No

Campaign website: Re-elect Noreen.

The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
The CT fiscal crisis impacts every part of government and how it services the people it represents. CT is getting ready to see a huge number of state employee retirements. We need to look at this as an opportunity to right size state government and only replace personnel in key departments such as public safety. We need to take a realistic look at our billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities. CT needs to stop promising benefits to future employees that are not sustainable. We need to start providing every child in CT, regardless of zip code, have a quality education and job training. .

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I believe in local control. I believe that state take over of our zoning and schools is a mistake. I believe that our police must be supported and public safety is imperative. I believe that the states lack of support for small towns is driving up property taxes.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I have been a legislator for 9 years and a Selectman for 14 years. Prior to that I was the Ex. Director of a local not for profit with an annual operating budget of $2M overseeing over 200 part time employees.

Do you believe Connecticut needs reform when it comes to electric utility oversight? What steps, if any should be taken?
PURA is the regulatory body that oversees all utilities. We need to stop making political appointments to PURA and start bringing in professionals to be members. We need to better vet energy legislation. Past laws passed have raised costs to the ratepayers due to unintended consequences of misguided legislation.

What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
First thing is to let them reopen with strong safety social distancing regulations. We need to permanently provide them with the relief from regulations and fees that Gov. Lamont put forward in his Emergency Orders. We need to expand job training programs to educate future workers.

List other issues that define your campaign platform:
State support for all towns, relief for our senior population, showing courage to do something about our achievement gap, stepping up to aid those with developmental disabilities. Supporting our not for profit providers. Stopping overtime from being allowed in pension calculations, protecting our natural resources, helping small businesses create jobs, fix our roads and bridges. Work to make CT more affordable.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I believe in excellent constituent service and that everyone has a right to be heard and represented.

This article originally appeared on the Madison Patch

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