Will Haskell: Loans for business, manufacturing investments, health insurance

When I launched my campaign two years ago, I unveiled a plan to build a stronger, safer, more prosperous future for Connecticut. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished — from repealing taxes that stifle entrepreneurship to protecting our incredible local schools.

But the world looks very different today, with a new set of challenges. The schools that we fought hard to protect from Hartford’s overreach are now struggling with hybrid and remote learning systems. Worse, our federal government has dropped the ball in providing meaningful stimulus or properly controlling the spread of COVID-19.

New challenges require new ideas and policy commitments — not rehashing old, partisan disagreements. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you three of my priorities for the next two years — priorities that will help us recover, rebuild, and prepare for what’s next.

First, I will continue fighting to expand access to emergency no-interest loans for small businesses, which will allow shops and restaurants to keep their doors open. I worked closely with Gov. Lamont on state-level stimulus measures like bridge loans and commercial rent moratoriums at the beginning of the pandemic, and I’ll work to continue those programs legislatively.

Second: When the pandemic hit, Connecticut faced shortages of PPE, masks and other medical supplies when we needed them most — I want to make sure we never have to go through that again. That’s why I’ll support long-term investments in advanced manufacturing so that we can create jobs and build medical supplies right here in Fairfield County.

Third: With so many people losing their employer-provided health insurance, I will continue to push for an affordable public healthcare option for Connecticut residents. I support a public healthcare plan that allows any small business, nonprofit, or family to buy into the same, high-quality healthcare that I enjoy as a member of the state legislature.

Will Haskell is the Democratic candidate for the 26th state Senate district that includes Ridgefield, Wilton, Redding and parts of Weston, Westport, Bethel and New Canaan.