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OPINION: Connecticut taxpayers deserve a fiscal guardian

OPINION: Connecticut taxpayers deserve a fiscal guardian

By Kevin Lembo

Before we were married — before state law allowed us to be married —my husband Charles and I decided to adopt children. It was a long-considered decision. We had a stable home, we wanted a family, and we had already taken in two young boys who called us Dad.

But a powerful judge in New York tried to stop us, and told us flat out, we weren’t the right family for the boys. We fought back, we changed the laws, and we adopted our two sons in 1994. And then again, in 1998, we adopted our youngest son.

The lesson I learned, the one that has guided my work, and the one I hope I have passed on to our children is if you have the guts to stand up and speak out about what’s important, you can get things done.

When Governor Malloy proposed tax giveaways to two of the largest hedge funds in the world, I spoke up. I led the fight to use the money, instead, for training and educating our workforce, to improve health care and to build a state infrastructure that benefits all people and businesses in our state economy, not just the most powerful.

And I stood up to the big pharmaceutical companies. I helped write and gain passage of a law that enacts strict transparency requirements that make it harder for the drug companies to price gouge consumers or overcharge patients for life-sustaining medications. Drug corporations can no longer raise drug prices excessively without being accountable and justifying their actions to the Connecticut people.

I’ve brought Democrats and Republicans, small businesses and unions together to reduce the cost of health care, while also improving the quality of care. I’ve also worked across the aisle to bring greater transparency to government spending through on-line websites that allow taxpayers to follow every dollar spent.

Connecticut has a rich history, beautiful and bountiful resources and endless opportunity in the coming years if we can bring people together to get our financial house in order, and become reliable partners to taxpayers, business, municipalities, and nonprofits.

Connecticut’s taxpayers deserve a fiscal guardian in the Comptroller’s office who understands their tax dollars are hard earned and must be carefully spent and accounted for. One who believes that health care should not be a privilege of the well-to-do, but a right.

I’m proud of the fights I’ve taken on for people needing health care or struggling to pay medical bills, on behalf of taxpayers tired of seeing their dollars spent on trying to keep multi-million-dollar corporations from leaving the state, rather than building our state into a place where all people and companies will choose to live without taxpayer giveaways. And I hope to keep fighting for Connecticut’s taxpayers in the years to come.

Incumbent Democrat Kevin Lembo is seeking re-election as comptroller.