Monroe Representative JP Sredzinski is running unopposed in the district, which also includes a portion of Newtown. He has served two terms and will be returned for a third term. Sredzinski says the budget adopted last year will help improve fiscal stability in the state through bonding and spending caps and stopping 17 tax increases or new taxes. They were also able to stop a proposal to stop moving teacher pension costs off onto municipalities. Sredzinski says any governor going forward will be prevented from making mid-year budget cuts to education aid and municipal funding. He says that’s important because towns set their budget in April or May, before the legislature enacts changes.
Sredzinski is a ranking member on the Public Safety Committee. One bill that was signed into law dealt with sexual assault evidence collection. When a person goes to a health care facility, the facility must contact a sexual assault counselor. In the past, the victim needed to request that help. The new law does not require a victim to take advantage of the service if they do not want to. The measure also implements an electronic tracking system for evidence kits. Sredzinski says there is a tendency for repeat offences, so this should help better help law enforcement. The bill also gives victims access to information about that kit.
Sredzinski wants to continue to make Connecticut more business friendly, give municipalities more predictable funding and improve transportation infrastructure without implementing tolling. He says the Transportation Committee passed four bills out of committee on tolling, but were never called on the floor of the House because the votes weren’t there for approval. He was critical of the $10 million toll study, calling unnecessary and irresponsible. He would have preferred that money go to school construction or school security.
On the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana, Sredzinski says the risks outweigh the reward in terms of public safety versus tax revenue. He says other states have experience problems with labor issues and impairment tests. Sredzinski is open to the debate, but doesn’t support the idea right now.
As for sports betting, Sredzinski says there is a major revenue component. He says it has to be implemented in the right way. Sredzinski questioned if it would be available online, if there would be age restrictions and where someone could place a bet. He’s not sure it should be done at lottery terminals. He also wants to prevent betting on high school or little league games. Sredzinski also wants to be able to track any misuse of it.
The ghost gun bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee last year, but did not make it for a vote on the House floor. Sredzinski says the devil is in the details. He would like to see any new legislation before committing one way or another on a potential ban. He wants to allow for the second amendment to exisit, balanced with safety needs.
Sredzinski says the most complaints he gets from constituents are about the DMV. He called it embarrassing that people have to take a vacation day in 2018 to take care of business. He says there are a few DMV express facilities that are successful and he’d like to build on that. He also wants to reinstate the agreement with AAA for licensing services and would be open to privatization of the DMV. While Sredzinski says that’s an executive branch issue, the legislature has some authority in the budgeting process.