It’s a new day! In the past we may have made mistakes as a state, but it is time to start looking forward and capitalize on our natural advantages. We used to be the most innovative state in the nation, as at one time we lead the nation in patents per capita. We need to get back to being the most innovative state in the country and innovate our way out of our current economic system. We can not do the same things that got us to where we are and expect them to get us out of where we are. We can only build a better Connecticut together. Here are the things I believe that we need to do:
- An educated workforce is one of our primary advantages. We need to maintain and improve our K-12 schools, which are some of the best in the country. We also need to make higher education accessible to all and help align the skill of our residents with the needs of the workforce. We need to make it easier for families to pay for college. We should incentivize companies to help pay off their employees loans by offering tax credits.
- We need to encourage innovation. We should develop an office of innovation tasked with helping the state and municipalities utilize pay for success funding to improve the services we are delivering while reducing costs. This office should also work with the Department of Economic and Community Development to help foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem in our state.
- Make it easier to do business. As a small business owner, I am well aware of the many hoops that businesses must jump through in the state. We need to make it easier, quicker, and more predictable to do business with and in the state of Connecticut.
Improve Government Efficiencies. From my experience as a small business owner, I know that innovation is key. We need to find new ways of delivering services that are both more efficient and more cost effective. In addition to examining the best practices of other states, one method of achieving this goal is utilizing innovations such as Pay for Success financing. Different models of Pay for Success have been implemented in different states, such as in Utah where they are offering scholarships for pre-school that are being repaid by the savings in special education costs. I advocated for this form of funding while I was a state representative, and I will continue to advocate for delivering better services in a less costly way as a state senator.