PROSPECT — The lines have been redrawn and Prospect will have a new state senator.
State legislators approved new district maps for the state House of Representatives and Senate Wednesday that move Prospect from the 15th to the 16th Senatorial District, which includes Southington, Wolcott and portions of Cheshire and Waterbury.
Republican state Sen. Joe Markley currently represents the 16th District. Democrat state Sen. Joan Hartley represents the 15th District.
The new districts will go into effect with the next federal elections, in 2012.
Markley said he’s looking forward to serving Prospect if reelected.
“Prospect is a nice community. I’ve always liked it,” he said.
Markley said he is confident Prospect residents, who vote heavily Republican in local elections, will vote for him.
“I believe it’s a conservative community that appreciates small government and personal liberty and constitutional rights and constitutional limits and that’s what I believe in,” Markley said.
Markley said he already knows Mayor Robert Chatfield and intends to make himself known to the rest of Prospect ahead of the elections next year.
Chatfield said he had good relations with Hartley, but is ready to work with the town’s new senator.
“I look forward to working with whoever our new senator will be,” Chatfield said.
Markley was elected to his second term in office last fall, having also served one term a quarter-century ago.
“What brought me back to politics was concern about my country and my feeling that we’ve gotten badly off track and are going rapidly in wrong direction,” Markley said.
Markley said he is concerned about the growth of government, the state and federal debt, the integrity of U.S. currency, and the erosion of individual rights.
“No one can solve this whole problem,” Markley said.
But, he added, people who see the problems should try to get involved.
When he last served in the 1980s, Markley said he kept a low profile as part of the then Republican majority.
Now, as a minority senator, Markley said he has become a crusader.
Markley said he lead a fight against a “sneaky” tax on utility bills which he felt was illegal. The lawsuit he filed against it was eventually dismissed, but the legislature got rid of the tax, Markley said.
“I felt like that was a windmill I tilled at and managed to knock over,” he said.
More recently, Markley said he has been trying to stop the New Britain-Hartford Busway project, which he called “a $600 million boondoggle.”
The busway has already been approved and is under construction, scheduled to open in 2014.
Markley currently serves on the Human Services, Appropriations, Program Review and Regulations Review committees in Hartford.
Markley said he hasn’t had a chance to take a close look at how other senate districts shook out.
“I was pleased with what was done to my district and I haven’t gotten too much further than that,” Markley said.
Hartley could not be reached for comment as of this post.
View a copy of the map that outlines the new state Senate districts here.