Republican gubernatorial candidate David Stemerman said Thursday that he would consider pushing for a full-time state legislature in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
The former hedge fund manager from Greenwich blasted the legislature for conflicts that are present under the current part-time system.
In his six-point plan to eliminate conflicts, Stemerman said, “State legislators that are members of the state employee union will be barred from voting on legislation that directly affects themselves and their membership.’’
“Having a full-time legislature that is paid appropriately and where there are not these conflicts of interest is one that I would be open to considering and discussing,’’ Stemerman said in response to an online reporter’s question outside the state Capitol.
While he mentioned several times that House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz of Berlin is both a legislative leader and a full-time union employee, Stemerman said he was not calling on Aresimowicz to step down from either position.
“By no means am I saying that the Speaker needs to resign, nor am I saying that he needs to resign from his union membership,’’ Stemerman said.
Concerning the full-time legislature, he said he was only considering the thought and had not made any final decisions.
“I’m not committing to doing anything,’’ Stemerman said. “I have not endorsed that idea.’’
Republican gubernatorial candidate Timothy Herbst of Trumbull blasted the possibility.
"David Stemerman is betraying his New York Democratic roots with his plan to give Hartford politicians a raise and more time under the Gold Dome to expand government," Herbst said in a statement Friday. "There are enough insider deals in Hartford without trying to make it operate more like Albany."
"The last thing that is going to fix the broken culture of entitlement among insiders in Hartford is giving them a raise with taxpayer money," Herbst said.
He added, "Part-time legislators in Hartford currently receive state pensions, receive lavish health care benefits more generous than what is given to members of Congress and can pad their pensions with mileage reimbursement. Giving them full-time salaries to expand government and maintain the broken status quo will only exacerbate Connecticut's woes."
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