Connecticut’s natural beauty and diverse geography is one of our state’s unique assets. From miles of coastline to numerous lakes, endless hiking trails, and more — Connecticut’s landscape offers a little bit of everything. Public lands, beaches, Long Island Sound and parks are a great source of pride for our residents, and I plan to keep it that way. 

I’m running for Governor because when we say we’re going to protect the environment, our word should mean something. 

The General Assembly created a Passport to Parks program that would allow for a fee collected by DMV to go directly supporting the state’s 140 state parks and forests. Providing predictable funding, maintenance and improvements so Connecticut residents and visitors can enjoy the beauty our state has to offer. To nobody’s surprise, the General Assembly, with the support of the Governor, raided that fund, taking the money people thought was going to support parks and spending it to plug budget holes. Not only does this eat away at the trust our residents place in us, but it strips funding from our natural resources. 

In prior years, millions of dollars were from energy efficiency programs to fill gaps in the budget due to inefficient budgeting. Our environment must be protected, and lawmakers should not be using dollars reserved for environmental purposes to make up for budget shortfalls.

Our state parks are a great tourism asset and give visitors a reason to visit Connecticut. From hiking to swimming, fishing, to cross-country skiing, and everything in between, these parks offer the opportunity to leverage our assets and provide opportunities for small businesses to thrive. Long Island Sound creates billions of dollars in Connecticut and we need to do a better job protecting this valuable resource. We can balance environmental sustainability and economic growth by working together with private partners and making sure that environmental regulations exist that make sense and not just a few extra cents.