HARTFORD – State Rep. Joe de la Cruz, D-Groton, announced he will not run for reelection this year after he finishes his third term.
De la Cruz, who was elected in 2020 for the third time to represent District 41, including Groton and New London, said on the floor of the House of Representatives that he would be ending his run in the General Assembly to focus on his job as vice president of Hillery Company in Groton – where business supplying submarine parts had increased “tri-fold.”
De la Cruz said he hopes that lawmakers will consider increasing pay for members of the General Assembly to give more people an opportunity to serve.
“Last week, I thought I was gonna run,” de la Cruz said. “On Saturday, I called a meeting with my lawyer, my retirement adviser, all these people in one room. And for those of you who are married, you know that I’m talking about one person – my wife. And the retirement planner in her didn’t have to use the calculator to do the math. The $30,000 a year we make to do this illustrious job, the one we all really care for – it’s truly not enough to live on, it’s truly not enough to retire on.”
De la Cruz said he has heard rumblings that lawmakers should cut their own salaries for the benefit of the people of Connecticut, but he urged them to consider the people who never make it to the General Assembly because they can’t afford to.
“I want to remind you of all the voices that never made it here, that would sound just like my voice,” he said. “I hope future legislatures consider either a full-time legislature, or giving more money. A politician asking for more money on the House floor sounds crazy, but I can do that because I’m on my way out the door.”