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42nd state House District now includes Ridgefield

The 42nd state House District now includes Ridgefield because redistricting. Wilton Selectwoman Kim Healy is the Republican candidate.  She was an auditor with PriceWaterhouseCooper.  Keith Denning is the Democratic candidate.  He is a practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.  He has served on medical missions throughout the world first working with Operation Smile and then with PCRF, a medical organization that works throughout the Middle East.


When it comes to affordable housing, Healy says she was part of a grassroots effort that fought for local control over zoning.  She says 8-30g should be repealed, but doesn't think that will happen.  In that case, she wants it reformed adding that housing should not be deed restricted.  Healy also wants to include senior housing in the baseline so towns aren't victims to predatory developers.  Denning agrees that 8-30g isn't working.  But he says towns that do build higher density housing should be rewarded with the infrastructure they need to accomodate that influx of population.


Denning says Connecticut is back and growing.  He says housing is scarce and that needs to be addressed.  He doesn't think the diesel tax should be eliminated because of the damage to the environment.  Healy says young people need to prioritize where their income is going, but the state should address energy costs and property taxes. 


On abortion access, Healy is a pro-choice candidate and wants to retain the right to choice in Connecticut.  She thinks government should stay out of all personal health decisions.  Denning agrees.  He says this is not a procedure undertaken lightly and something that women have a right to make.  Denning says there is a risk at the federal level for a ban.


When it comes to early voting, Denning says any restriction limits democracy.  He says one day is not enough anymore.  Healy supports early voting, but is concerned about this referendum because there's not specification on how expanded it would be.  She would support voting on the Saturday before Election Day.  She doesn't agree with the blanket mailing of absentee ballots and wants to clean up the voter rolls.


Mental wellness was also addressed by the candidates.  Denning says the pandemic decimated a lot of health care providers.  He wants to figure out how to incentivize people to get into the field.  He says there aren't enough resources to help people in a crisis situation.  Denning proposed more subsidies for mental health services in schools.  Healy says the lockdowns effected children in a negative way.  She wants to look at licensing requirements to eliminate roadblocks to people getting into the fields to help students.


The candidates were also asked about Paid Family and Medical Leave.  Healy says Connecticut has the most generous plan offered in the country.  She thinks the state would have saved money if an outside firm were to administer the plan, rather than state employees.  She thinks it should be limited to immediate family members.  Denning says there are many families that aren't related, some elderly residents who rely on their neighbors.