FAIRFIELD — After two terms on the town’s legislative body, Representative Town Meeting member Ray Neuberger, R-6, has set his sights on a higher goal.

Neuberger is challenging Democratic state Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey to represent the 133rd District in the state General Assembly. He is running, he said, because the state of Connecticut has failed.

“We have ineffectively driven corporate Connecticut and small business out of state, which has diminished our tax base,” Neuberger said. “With a depleted tax roll and a swollen, budgetary payroll, Connecticut can no longer afford to spend more than revenue raised.”

The result, he said, is fiscal irresponsibility that has meant cuts to the state’s most vulnerable residents. “Not only have we managed to cut precious education money to local municipalities, but we have levied unmanageable taxes on our hospitals, threatening the services and care for all,” according to Neuberger.

“There is no greater issue in this election,” Neuberger said, “than rectifying the budgetary practices in Hartford that have led us billions of dollars in debt and deficit.”

For Neuberger, the top three issues facing the state and his constituents are revitalizing the economy through incentives in order to retrain and attract more jobs; protecting all education dollars to municipalities that have been cut; and eliminate wasteful spending and work to vote on “exorbitant” state employee contracts.

“In order to balance the budget, we need to increase revenue and decrease spending,” Neuberger said. He said the state needs to start implementing policies in Hartford that facilitate businesses. “Legislators should implement zero-based budgeting so we are not funding programs that do not work, or are completely inefficient.”

To control spending, Neuberger wants to eliminate the study on the mileage tax, as well as taxpayer-funded election campaigns. “Curtailing state money used for political campaigns can save millions of dollars,” Neuberger said.

“There is no greater issue in this election than rectifying the budgetary practices in Hartford that have led us billions of dollars in debt and deficit,” Neuberger said.

He believes the state Legislature should be voting on all state employee contracts. “We have been rubber-stamping contracts for 30 years without mitigation,” Neuberger said. “Some contracts entitle employees that work 15 minutes of overtime to four hours of compensation.”

An oil broker with First National Oil Brokers, Neuberger said rules and regulations on small businesses need to moderated.

“Between 2011 and 2014, Connecticut had a net loss of 44,000 people and $5 billion in tax dollars to other states, according to the Yankee Institute,” Neuberger said.

A graduate of Fairfield Prep and Fairfield University, Neuberger was given the Republican Town Committee’s Paul Tymniak Young Republican award in 2015. As a member of the RTM, he is chairman of the Public Works and Planning Committee, and secretary of the Special Legislative Management Committee.

greilly@ctpost.com; @GreillyPost