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EXCLUSIVE: CT-Gov. Candidate Handler is Looking at the State’s Long Game

January 19, 2018 By Staff
EXCLUSIVE: CT-Gov. Candidate Handler is Looking at the State’s Long Game

Reclaim Connecticut talked with Mike Handler about the state's fiscal long game, and two steps he would take to get Connecticut's economy back on track.

“First and foremost,” Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Mike Handler said, we need to address our “fixed structural costs as a state.”

“We need to really address the structural costs … in our pensions, our retirement health, and our debt service.”

“Secondly,” Handler continued, “we’ve got to take that savings and be able to reduce taxes to make our state both competitive and predictable.”

Those are the two big things Handler wants to accomplish if he’s elected governor.

Reclaim Connecticut talked with Handler on Friday about his campaign, “long-term” solutions, and more.

CUTTING TAXES

Once Connecticut begins to get its fiscal house in order, Handler said the state can move on to reducing taxes in ways that make things more predictable, stable, and competitive for the state.

That includes changing the “corporate tax structure, to attract businesses and maintain businesses,” and the income tax and estate tax, to make it “more compelling for taxpayers to want to stay in our state.”

“We have more than enough revenue in our state if we can get a hand on our expenses,” Handler said.

TACKLING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE

The GOP gubernatorial field in Connecticut is huge, with 11 candidates raising significant amounts of money for their bids. Handler is one of those 11 candidates.

How does he plan to stand out?

“I’m the only candidate that’s got the depth of experience and success in the private sector, in finance where it matters … and [experience] tackl[ing] some of the same issues we’re facing as a state,” Handler said.

Handler said he knows the “best strategies,” that work in the private sector, and how to “implement and execute in the public sector.”

“I just cleaned up the very same mess after Dan Malloy,” Handler said, referencing his work in Stamford. “So, I think that separates me out.”

NO “ONE-LINERS”

Reclaim Connecticut asked for Handler’s thoughts about the possibility of a federal government shutdown, but Handler said he wants to focus inward.

“The reality is we’ve got to look within ourselves,” Handler said, “to lower our cost of living [here].”

To that effect, Handler said it’s “incumbent upon everyone in Connecticut today to really focus on the issues and solutions.”

What does that mean, according to Handler? No more “30,000-foot one-liners.”

“It all comes back to how we affect change.”