The Chamber’s Legislative Affairs Council hosted a legislative candidates’ forum Monday at the Montville Town Hall

Those participating were Sen. Andrew Maynard and Theresa Madonna, 18th District;  Sprague First Selectwoman Cathy Osten, 19th District; Sen. Andrea Stillman and Michael Doyle, 20th District; Tony Siragusa, 38th District; Andrew Lavery, 40th District; Ledyard Town Council member Mike France and Preston Selectman Timothy R. Bowles, 42nd District; Rep. Diana Urban, 43rd; RepRep. Kevin Ryan, District 139;

The topics ranged across the issue spectrum, but in response to a request from Chamber board Chair Bill Stanley each candidate listed his or her top priority.

Maynard: reduce cost of electric energy but balance that with protection for providers of power by other means than natural gas.
Madonna: Put people to work; stop borrowing & eliminate use tax on repair of large vessels.

Osten: Job creation & job retention:  use the jobs bill, seek out beneficiaries; focus more on agriculture & small business.

Stillman: Continue as a small business-experienced legislator bringing jobs back to CT & pleased to see focus on NL in Deep Water Port study & wants to work on that along with advancement in state educational system.
Doyle: Reduce Spending & reinvest in small businesses.

Siragusa: Reduce high cost of gasoline & provide more state dollars to localities to lower property taxes.  Natural Gas not best approach & state shouldn’t fund its expansion.

Lavery: (1) Get people back to work; (2) No more taxes after largest increase in state history; (3) reduce cost of health care; &  (4) reduce local property taxes.

France: Need revised tax policy.  Business can’t expand in CT due to unpredictability of taxes & regulations.
Bowles: (1) Find another economic driver for E CT (i.e. other than overreliance on casinos, EB & Pfizer);  (2) All State Government agencies should have the same regional boundaries.

Urban: Continuing her focus on “Results Based Accountability” in government operations.

Ryan: Create & strengthen economy by implementation of jobs bill & market the bill’s benefits among businesses.  Affordable health care.  Use community colleges as economic driver for job training for the region.