Republican State Rep. Tim Ackert is up for re-election this November, but the representative for Coventry, Columbia and Vernon could also be counting Tolland residents as his constituents when the recent becomes official this election cycle.
Ackert, who owns Ackert Electric in Coventry, said the new political districts could benefit Tolland in the state capitol.
"It gives Tolland another voice," he said. "With issues you'll now get two representatives fighting for Tolland."
The town is also part of the 53rd District, which is currently represented by state Rep. Bryan Hurlburt, a Democrat.
If re-elected in November, Ackert said that he's looking forward to working with his fellow representative, regardless of party affiliations.
"I think there are times that we probably won't match up, but when it comes to farm land preservation, property taxes, I think those are issues that really have an impact on local communities," he said.
He added that he plans on attending local government meetings and going door-to-door to meet his new constituents, pending the election results.
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Ackert spoke on his recent voting record in the General Assembly.
Ackert voted yes on the reform bill.
"I still think it's an area that needs to be worked on," Ackert said. He said that he thinks the current Education Cost Sharing grant formula is unfair since a disproportionate amount of funds is given to certain districts.
"Why do students in your district get twice the money of mine?" he asked. "I always look at it: a child is a child."
Ackert serves on the legislative committes of Eucation and Higher Education & Employment Advancement.
Ackert voted for the bill allowing medical marijuana, because he said it provides relief for those in chronic pain, and because he believes that it only becomes a gateway drug when purchased illegally.
"If I have to go to a back alley to buy something I prefer to use because I'm in pain, it's easier to buy something that makes me feel comparable to those," he said. "The gateway is the dealer; that wouldn't happen in a pharmacy. I think it will actually reduce that gateway opportunity for people."
While he said that the medical marijuana system in California is "broken," he said that the state should give the system a chance and repeal it if it gets "out of control."
Ackert voted against the death penalty repeal.
"If by chance, in the state of Connecticut, there was an inmate that was in for life that killed a correction officer because he has nothing to lose, and you could have prevented that because the death penalty was still on the books, then it was worth keeping it," he said.
He addressed concerns that the state could unintentionally execute an innocent person.
"That's such a stretch," he said. "There are only 11 people on death row, and they are guilty without exception."
Ackert voted against the legislation allowing Sunday liquor sales.
"I've always looked at it as I work for the constituents that are here. And I heard from small businesses that said, 'Tim, it's just me and my wife. I'm the only one you see here.'"
He added that the reducing taxes on the product would be more likely to bring business to the state and make Connecticut more consumer friendly.
Ackert lives in Coventry with his wife, Teddie, and has two children. He served in the U.S. Air Force. He is also a member of the Finance and Revenue & Bonding legislative committees .
For more information on Ackert, visit his website.