Our state was one of the first to be hit hard by the COVID-19 health crisis.  We were able to flatten the curve earlier than most, by taking the health dangers very seriously, by imposing drastic restrictions on social contact, indoor gatherings, and strict adherence to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. All the measures to control Covid-19 health safety have been devastating to the economic viability and sustainability of our households, residents, small businesses, and towns.  We now need to strive for a new balance.

We have now begun to operate our state with phase three reopening — the re-opening of our public schools, businesses and easing social interaction protocols has been promising.  But infections are starting to climb again, and we must be vigilant against a second wave of Covid-19 illnesses. 

Covid-19, beyond its dangerous health risks, will significantly impact our economics as well.  Connecticut’s state budget for fiscal year 2020-21 is an estimated $3 billion in deficit out of a nearly $20 billion budget. Our current economic challenges may be the “tip of the iceberg” where our revenue shortfalls will decimate essential governmental services at a time when they are most needed. The Covid-19 pandemic health and economic crisis will require collaborative and bipartisan leadership backed by proven experience to overcome this unprecedented challenge.  

During these difficult pandemic times, it important to make sure residents in need are receiving help from our local, state, and federal government. Covid-19 has greatly impacted our daily lives and we need to do everything possible, as a united community, to help those most in need. I also will continue to work tirelessly in support of local small businesses, the unemployed and our most vulnerable. To further fight for a safe reopening in Connecticut, I have demanded medical fact-based decision-making from the governor’s administration to maintain public health and safety.

I strongly believe that the state government needs to work and collaborate with local governance, where local control and input must always be preserved and protected.  I have a documented track record of ardently protecting local control on education, land use/zoning and taxes. The legislative majority in Hartford have proposed to take over the decision-making process, leaving local leadership and residents powerless.

Eliminating local control over education and zoning laws would increase government bureaucracy and include less input from community residents on decisions that impact them. This shift would institute sweeping changes related to where and how students attend school (education regionalization) and local planning and zoning governance (Connecticut Statute 8.30g on workforce & affordable housing and land use). 

In my 15 years of local and state service, I have the proven experience and leadership qualities to make the difficult and thoughtful decisions needed to move our state forward.  Those decisions need to be made by listening and adapting our policies based on all shareholders input and suggestions. I hope to have earned your vote which will allow me to proudly represent you in Hartford.

Editor’s Note: This is Hwang’s second political statement. Per the Easton Courier Political Campaign Publication Policies, candidates may submit two statements, explaining their positions.

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