Here's How I'd Vote

I haven't spent two decades in Hartford - and I happen to think that's a good thing. I want to let you know where I stand on the issues, so this page will highlight my thoughts on key issues facing the Connecticut General Assembly. Every year, the Connecticut State Senate considers bills that affect each of our lives. I hope you'll take a second to read how I'd vote as your state senator.

 

 
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Cost Saving Municipal Collaboration (S.B. 490)

Rising mill rates and burdensome property taxes are a major concern in our community. This bill would allow town governments to build economies of scale for local services, thereby reducing inefficiencies and eliminating redundancies. This would encourage towns to save money and avoid raising property taxes.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY


Protect Net Neutrality from Donald Trump (S.B. 2)

When the federal government fails to protect consumers, state governments must step up to the plate. That's why I support a bill that protects the free and open Internet here in Connecticut. Trump's FCC recently repealed net neutrality, opening the door to higher prices and lower speeds online. This change threatens small businesses by raising operating costs and driving consumers toward major retailers.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY

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Repealing the Earned Income Tax Credit (2016, SB 65)


Proposed by Richard Nixon and strengthened by Ronald Reagan, the Earned Income Tax Credit is a bipartisan success story in fighting poverty. By augmenting the wages of working families who are struggling to get by, this tax credit does more to lift children out of poverty than any other social program in the United States. Senator Boucher has repeatedly voted to repeal this tax credit in Connecticut. I've worked with low-income families as they filed their taxes and observed first hand the positive impact of this policy. 

How I'd Vote: NAY

How Toni Boucher Voted: YEA


Combating Sexual Harassment (S.B. 132)

The State Senate responded to the Time's Up movement by passing a comprehensive bill mandating employee training on sexual harassment and assault. Sen. Boucher and her colleagues tried to weaken the bill with Amendment 5170, an amendment exempting businesses with fewer than 50 employees -- leaving workers at small businesses unprotected.

How I'd Vote on Amendment 5170: NAY

How Toni Boucher Voted: YEA

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Loosening Restrictions on Ammunition Sales (S.B. 118)

Connecticut has some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the country. It's important that we protect that legacy, and not loosen restrictions unnecessarily. Sen. Boucher sponsored a bill that would have allowed gun clubs and shooting ranges to sell ammunition, even to individuals without a valid ammunition certificate. I strongly oppose the creation of loopholes that would make Connecticut citizens less safe.

How I'd Vote: NAY

How Toni Boucher Voted: YEA


Paid Family Leave (H.B. 5387)

Workers in Connecticut shouldn't have to choose between advancing in their careers and caring for an ill parent or starting a family. By passing a paid-family leave program, funded by employee contributions, Connecticut can gain a competitive advantage in the labor market without burdening businesses. Senator Boucher voted against the paid family leave bill this session, squandering an opportunity to attract the next generation of workers to start careers and build families here in Connecticut.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY

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In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students (H.B. 6844):

Thousands of young Connecticut residents remain undocumented through no fault of their own. Once undocumented students are accepted into our colleges and universities, they should be provided with every chance to succeed. Sen. Boucher voted against a bill that would allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition. We must work to ensure that no hard-working resident of our state is left without access to quality education.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY


Health Insurance Exchange (S.B. 921)

In 2011, the Connecticut legislature passed a bill to establish a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. This exchange has since helped more than 163,000 Connecticut residents gain healthcare coverage. Sen. Boucher and her Republican colleagues voted against multiple iterations of the bill, opposing one of the most effective healthcare reforms in our state's history.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY

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An Act Concerning Workforce Development (2009, SB 813)

Any effort to revitalize Connecticut's economy must include educators working with businesses to develop a highly-skilled workforce. Companies won't be drawn to Connecticut until our graduates are equipped to meet their needs. From green jobs to high tech sectors, the state legislature has tried to make our state more competitive by developing a talented workforce. Unfortunately, Senator Boucher stood in the way by opposing a bill to study how best to equip the workers of tomorrow.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY


Civil Unions (H.B. 963)

Before Justice Kennedy recognized marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, Senator Boucher opposed a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to enter into a civil union, affording them the rights of a married couple. Civil unions were the first step on the road to meaningful equality, and Senator Boucher stood on the wrong side of history. In the years to come, our state will face countless issues surrounding justice and dignity for all citizens. We deserve a state senator who will always uphold LGBTQ+ rights.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY

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Enforcing Proper Vaccination (2015, HB 6949, Amendment A):

Every child in our public schools should be safely and properly vaccinated. In 2015, Sen. Boucher voted for an amendment that would have let public school children go unvaccinated if their parents' "personal beliefs" warranted it. The medical consensus is clear: vaccinations play a vital role in keeping your kids safe. I will always oppose the pseudoscience of the anti-vaccine movement.

How I’d Vote: NAY

How Toni Boucher Voted: YEA


School Nurses for Every Student (2014, SB 224):


School nurses are a vital resource for teachers and students. We can never take that resource for granted. Unfortunately, equal access to a school nurse was not guaranteed until recently. Sen. Boucher voted against a 2014 bill that required schools to provide at least one nurse for every 750 students and set common training standards for school nurses across the state. 

How I’d Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY

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National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (S.B. 408)

America's electoral college is a constitutional relic. Since 2000, the winner of two out of five presidential elections didn't win the popular vote. Worse, Connecticut and other non-swing states are left out of the national conversation during presidential campaigns. I believe every vote should count. Connecticut should join the ten other states that have already passed the compact.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Every Republican on the GAE Committee Voted: NAY


Guns in State Parks (H.B. 5539)

This NRA-backed bill would allow firearms inside state parks. I'm proud that Connecticut has some of the strongest gun regulation in the country, and I oppose any legislation that that would roll those regulations back. I grew up just a few minutes away from Sherwood Island state park, and I'll fight to keep our parks safe—no matter what the NRA wants.

How I'd Vote: NAY

How Every Republican on the JUD Committee Voted: YEA

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Early Voting (H.J. 28)

With this bill, Connecticut would join 37 other states in allowing citizens to vote early. Too often, busy schedules prevent people from participating in the democratic process. I believe our state government is better off when more people vote, not fewer. Early voting is especially helpful in allowing elderly voters to cast a ballot. However, my opponent has tried to block early voting in Connecticut.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Every Republican on the GAE Committee Voted: NAY

 


Abolishing the Death Penalty (S.B. 280)

Today, the U.S. ranks among the top ten nations in total executions, joining the likes of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. Meanwhile, Canada, Mexico and the European Union have all abolished the practice. Data clearly shows that the death penalty is neither a deterrent to violent crime nor a cost-effective form of crime and punishment. In a criminal justice system that has the potential to get things wrong, the death penalty impermissibly risks putting innocent citizens to death.

How I'd Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY

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Cuts to Higher Education (H.B. 7501)

According to the Hartford Courant, the Republican plan would have cut funding to UCONN by more than $300 million over the next two years. Reacting to this budget, UCONN's president said that “these kinds of cuts would sink us for decades." Connecticut already has the highest student-debt-per-borrower average in the nation, with CT students working to repay an average of $35,947 in student loans. Cutting state assistance to our public colleges and universities would force tuition increases and cripple our future workforce.

How I'd Vote: NAY

How Toni Boucher Voted: YEA


Repealing the Citizens' Election Fund (H.B. 7501)

 Senator Boucher's budget would have eliminated public financing for political campaigns. Public financing removes the influence of special interests and returns power to voters. You may have noticed that I don't ask for money on this website. That's because Connecticut passed a law to keep money out of politics and provide all candidates with a level playing field. Unfortunately, Senator Boucher's budget would undo this progress - making it harder for regular people to challenge entrenched incumbents.

How I'd Vote: NAY

How Toni Boucher Voted: YEA

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Protecting Seniors from Predatory Lending (SB 579): 

In response to the troubling trend of reverse mortgage lenders preying upon senior citizens, the state Senate passed a bill aimed at protecting consumers and ending predatory lending. By requiring reverse mortgage applicants to receive independent counseling, this bi-partisan legislation armed seniors with the information they need to make financially responsible decisions.

How I’d Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY


Cracking Down on Distracted Driving (SB 6033):

In 2013, the state Senate passed bi-partisan legislation to crack down on distracted driving. The bill increased the fines for those who are caught texting while driving. Prior to voting, Senator Boucher promised to support a handful of bills related to making our roads more safe. “I don’t think it’s a matter of if we will pass them, it’s a matter of when we will pass them,” she said. One week later, she voted against the bill. In 2015, distracted driving caused more than 7,000 accidents in Connecticut.

How I’d Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY

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No Means No (H.B. 5376, Amendment A):

In 2016, the Connecticut General Assembly considered HB 5376. The bill mandated that colleges enforce the “affirmative consent” standard, meaning “an active, clear, and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in sexual activity with another person.” While the bill ultimately passed, 12 Senate Republicans voted for an amendment that would have completely eliminated the concept of “affirmative consent.” We can’t elect a candidate who doesn’t understand that yes means yes and anything less than that means no.

How Toni Boucher Voted on Amendment A: YEA

How I’d Vote on Amendment A: NAY


Restricting the Use of Step Therapy (SB 394):

Step Therapy, also called Fail First, is a cost-saving policy employed by insurance companies that involves discontinuing a patient’s medications that are working effectively. That patient then must take the “steps” to prove they are in fact worthy of the effective medication. This requires a patient to try one or more alternative medications and to “fail” on them. It is a long, frustrating process that negatively affects quality of life, and it can be outright dangerous. In 2014, Connecticut's State Senate cracked down on the use of Step Therapy. The bill returned power from insurance companies to health care providers so that physicians have the authority to override Step Therapy when necessary.

How I’d Vote: YEA

How Toni Boucher Voted: NAY

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