Brian Merlen (I)

CT Senate, District 27

Independent,
Broadcast Editor
(203) 559-4530

The state will utilize the rainy day fund which currently stands at $3+ billion in order to cover any budgetary shortfalls in the short term. In addition, other tax based solutions like the legalization of marijuana will help to fix up any shortfalls. This should be sufficient to see us through this public health related financial crisis. My concern with relying on the federal government stems from the way in which CARES ACT funds were backroom traded as political favors last year (see link below). I have deep mistrust in the transparency of such programs after what Representative Himes did at this secret meeting on April 7th of last year, when I was his opponent.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SeNP9bTNI5ea-ZVroGT-UeuVfuCjMr9s/view?usp=sharing
After seeing the discrepancies between Stamford towing 116 vehicles in two storms relative to Darien towing 0 and looking very hard at the demographics entailed, I have to say working on these predatory broken window policing policies is of my utmost concern on transportation. The only neighborhoods targeted by snow removal lanes, or alternate street side snow parking in Stamford are exactly the kinds of socioeconomically vulnerable communities to this kind of predatory billing that are truly endangered by this practice. We are only ticketing and towing those who can least afford it, and it is truly problematic that the demographics of those targeted by these policies tends to be the most vulnerable. I want to see policies in place that make sure we aren’t targeting those hard working residents, and as someone who just relocated to one of these streets I see language barriers playing a role in the enforcement issues. I think we need to change these rules because if you look at the unintended consequences we are targeting families who truly do not deserve it with the enforcement of these policies.
A state operated Public banking institution would be able to provide accessible rates for our local businesses and residents to meet their financial needs. This would promote local investment while allowing better competition for local firms and residents. With such an edge in place, our businesses would be able to thrive under these shifting environments. Like credit unions, a State operated system could offer very competitive pricing, which would provide a real incentive for the businesses over larger national competitors. Our goal should be to increase voter turnout while being smart about updating old-school rules.
I fully support SJ-3 and SJ-4. I think it is absolutely pivotal to make voting as easy as possible for our city residents. It will only encourage further participation if people can safely and easily exercise their right to vote. With technology enabling faster and easier lives, it only makes sense to encourage alternative ways to encourage voting.