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Foley And McKinney On The Key Issues

Republican voters head to the polls August 12th to elect the party's candidate for governor. Greenwich businessman Tom Foley and State Sen. John McKinney are both running in the primary, battling for the chance to face Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in November.

Here's where they stand on some of the key issues.

Taxes

Foley says he would cut the sales tax by half a percentage point. The sales tax is currently set at 6.35 percent. In order to pay for the sales tax cut, Foley first would keep state spending flat for two years. He also has proposed eliminating the business entity tax.

McKinney has proposed repealing the income tax for middle income families. Anyone earning less than $75,000 would no longer have to pay state income taxes under McKinney's plan, which first requires a year of spending cuts. Among those cuts, McKinney has proposed ending the earned income tax credit program which offers tax relief to low income families. He supports the phase-out of the 10 percent business surcharge tax.

Education

Foley does not think the Common Core curriculum and the accompanying teacher evaluation program are necessary in high-performing schools, and says he would target low-performing schools instead of all public schools. He supports charter schools, school choice within a district, and "money follows the child," a program in which students who attend magnet or charter schools bring education funding with them instead of sharing it with their old school district.

McKinney does not support Common Core in any school, even in low-performing districts, and has said that as governor he would end the program in Connecticut. He says he would hold charter schools to the same openness standards as public schools, meaning charter school management companies would be required to disclose exactly the same information as local superintendents of schools. Currently, charter schools are subject to different standards.

State Employees

Foley has said "a deal is a deal" and he would not re-open the union contract that lasts through 2022. He says he can keep state spending flat without laying off state employees or breaking contracts.

McKinney says he would re-open contracts and seek concessions from state employees to make pension and health care costs more affordable. He has suggested increasing how much state employees pay for their health care and how much they contribute to their pension funds. In order to shrink state government and rein in spending, McKinney says he would eliminate low-level state management positions. He says he would privatize where he can, listing Department of Corrections health initiatives as an example.

Mental Health

Foley, who for 40 years has cared for a sister with "serious mental health issues" says the state needs to do more to provide support for people with mental health issues. He says that "to put people in emergency rooms for acute mental health problems is really not the right answer."

McKinney says insurance companies need to treat mental health problems the same way as general medical problems, and says he has fought for that in the state legislature. He has called for programs that provide support for people suffering from mental illness.

It is too late for Democrats to switch registration, but unaffiliated and unregistered voters who want to vote in next week's Republican gubernatorial primary have until Thursday to register by mail or online, and until Aug. 11 at noon to register at their town offices. Connecticut residents can visit http://www.sots.ct.gov/vote to find out whether they are already registered to vote, where their polling place is located, where to register to vote, to dwnload an application for an absentee ballot, and to view the list of candidates.Absentee ballots for the primary are available now. They will be counted as long as town clerks receive them by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12th.

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
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