Paul Cicarella Jr. is settling in to his new role as a state senator.
Sworn into office last month, the Republican’s to-do list includes cutting taxes, supporting small business and bolstering the overall economy.
“The last thing we need to do as a state is to raise taxes,” said Cicarella, who represents the 34th District, which is comprised of Durham, East Haven, North Haven and Wallingford. “People have bills to pay, they have a budget. When you tax the middle class, any increase in expenses can drastically change your life.”
Rather than raising taxes, the freshman senator believes the state should tighten its financial belt.
“Just like small businesses and households do every day, the state needs to find a way to reduce its spending,” said Cicarella. “Sometimes, to make ends meet, you have to make hard decisions and cut certain expenses. We have to find where there’s wasteful spending and be creative to reduce costs, but it can be done if we work hard together.”
Cicarella opposes tax hikes on any income bracket, and is against the recently proposed mansion tax, which would impose an annual levy on Connecticut residences worth more than $430,000.
“I don’t think it’s a fair assumption to say somebody is wealthy just because they live in a $400,000 home,” said Cicarella. “The family that lives there can be working four jobs just to make ends meet. Do they have to get a tax increase? I know and have met many families in my district that fit that example.”
In addition to serving as a state senator, Cicarella is the president and founder of Advanced Investigations, LLC, a private investigations agency with seven Connecticut locations. He is also the owner of National Bug Sweep and Advanced Installations.
Cicarella believes overly complicated regulations handcuff business owners.
“We need to minimize the government’s control over small businesses and allow them to flourish and grow,” he said. “We have to cut through red tape and reduce some of the costs associated with running a small business, whether that’s excess fees, regulations or zoning requirements. We need to be more friendly to small businesses, which are the backbone of our state, and get everybody back to work.”
As a member of the Appropriations and Public Safety and Security Committee, Cicarella, a former corrections officer, said he is committed to supporting law enforcement and mitigating public safety issues.
Also, the new senator said he will strive to improve access to affordable healthcare and strengthen the school system, believing teachers, parents and students all should have a say in local education decisions.