After learning about the state legislature with help from female colleagues two years ago, state Rep. Liz Linehan hopes to “pay it forward” for a new crop of incoming women this legislative session.
“We’re going to look to advance (women’s issues) and I’m really thrilled to be able to do so,” said Linehan, D-Cheshire, during a recent interview for the “Morning Record” podcast series previewing the upcoming legislative session.
Linehan, whose district includes parts of Cheshire, Southington and Wallingford, is about to start her second term.
State Rep. John Fusco, R-Southington, meanwhile, said he’s “still wrapping (his) head around ” around the results of the recent election. After the 2016 election, his party held an 18-18 tie in the Senate and closed the Democrat’s majority in the House to 79-72.
Democrats were able to reverse nearly a decade of Republican gains this past November, retaking the Senate with a 23-13 majority and stretching their lead in the house to 92-59.
“I’m sure no one thought it would go the way that it did,” Fusco said.
Fusco, a member of the Conservative Caucus, said that won’t stop him from pushing for smaller government, less spending, and tax cuts.
He said the state needs to focus on helping businesses add jobs as a way to bolster revenue. He also wants to see the legislature do more to promote and support its apprenticeship program, which he said can help people get into carpentry, plumbing, and other trades.
In addition, Fusco said he will continue his opposition to tolls, recreational marijuana, and sports betting.
For Linehan, the election results showed the Democrats’ message resonated with voters.
“I think it means that we were able to get our message out loud and clear and that everybody has responded,” she said. “Now it’s up to us to make good on those promises that we made.”
Constituents are concerned about access to health care. She also wants to talk with small businesses to see what policies will help them. She is open to paid family medical leave, but wants to hear from businesses before she gets fully behind the program.
She also supports the legalization of sports betting and of recreational marijuana for residents age 26 and older.
To hear more from Linehan and Fusco, listen to the “Morning Record,” the Record-Journal’s daily news podcast, at https://bit.ly/2EWa9um