Republican Stephen Harding is running unopposed for reelection to the state House's 107th District of Brookfield and parts of Bethel and Danbury. The 28-year old is an attorney and a member of the Brookfield Board of Education.
Harding says one bill he's proud to have helped pass last session is one that requires the Office of Fiscal Analysis provide information to legislators of the impact that certain legislation would have on small businesses. He says a lot of regulations and mandates are onerous and costly to a small business and that does not help foster a positive business environment. Another bill he touted includes reforms to affordable housing laws to have some senior housing count a municipality's 10% allotment. He called it a step in the right direction to modify 8-30g laws. Harding wants to continue to make changes to give local zoning boards and commissions more of a say in what projects are approved.
Harding says the state hasn't done enough to address the fiscal crisis facing Connecticut. He says the state has created collectively bargained agreements with state employee unions which are not in the best interests of Connecticut residents.
Changes to the Education Cost Sharing formula are likely coming. Harding called it an arbitrary formula, which makes very little sense. He is in full support of changes to the ECS formula that make it more transparent.
Harding opposes tolls. He says there would be a large negative impact on residents in his district. He instead wants to see the state make cuts to wasteful spending and allocate that funding to transportation infrastructure improvements. Harding called for more upgrades along the Metro North Danbury branch.
He is a member of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee. Harding would like to continue on that panel in order to make changes to how Connecticut creates a budget. He says it makes very little sense that there are two committees dealing with budgeting. Harding notes that the Appropriations Committee basically creates a wish list, calculates a number and then asks the Finance Committee to find a way to pay for it. He wants to see procedural changes giving the Finance Committee first say in what the state can afford, and then have the Appropriations Committee decide how that money is spent.