To the Editor:

I do not put party first and never will. It’s not what you've put me there to do, and I take this job seriously. I take pride in being bipartisan.

I consider every single vote and say: “Is it the right thing to do?” “Is it best for the people of New Milford?” “Is it best for the state?”

I ensure that I have answered these questions before I put forth a legislative proposal. I took an optimistic approach to this session.

We were promised a fresh outlook, a new approach on doing business at the Capitol. So far, that hasn’t happened. It’s déjà vu, all over again.

The top proposals coming from the governor and some legislators across the aisle are focused on new taxes and tax increases.

The State House is your house. The House of the people. So let’s compare it to a real life situation.

The current financial situation of your home could drastically change if the furnace is burning too much fuel. The roof is leaking. The bills are piling up and you need to feed your family. It’s an overwhelming scenario, right?

One way to go about it, mirroring the logic of the majority leadership in Hartford, would be the following:

Take: Take more money from your neighbors to pay for it.

Borrow: Take money from your savings and your kids' college fund.

Buy: Buy a new car because it's nice to have in the garage.

So, what’s a better way to handle this? Step back, and figure out where you can cut spending. Allocate dollars to make repairs as quickly as possible, and most importantly figure out a way to plan ahead for these things.

The legislature must do the same. We must find ways in which we can provide incentives for people to live and work here.

I have proposals submitted this session that will help achieve that goal by:

1. Rewarding businesses for hiring additional full-time employees, through tax credits. An essential policy in promoting growth and providing solid work for more people.

2. Creating an easier mechanism for local farmers to provide food for school lunches, helping our local economy and cutting spending costs for our school district.

3. Enacting the "Learn here, Live here" program to promote higher education graduates to lay roots and purchase a new home, here in Connecticut.

4. And to hold legislators more accountable to do our job right, I propose that I, along with my fellow legislators, do not get a paycheck if we do not get a budget completed on time.

The seal of CT has a saying in Latin that says, “Qui transtulit sustinet,” and it means, “He who is transplanted sustains.”

This current over-taxation of our residents is not sustainable and nor will new and increased taxation. We will not sustain, nor remain. We can fix this but we must do it together and not divided by a letter next to our names.

As always, if you have questions about our state government, please contact me. I work for you, and I never forget that.

Bill Buckbee

State Representative, 67th District

New Milford