State investments in telecommunications & work force training should be focused on towns and rural areas like this district, so that people can qualify for good jobs or can run businesses from their homes. We should support small businesses to create better jobs by creating a voluntary paid family leave program to complement the voluntary retirement program already put in place.
EDUCATION FINANCE REFORM
Reforms that result in lower education property taxes can support affordable homeownership & rental apartments as well as all helping businesses.
The state must stop using the Education Fund to finance costs that are not directly related to pre K through 12 education spending because this drives up property taxes.
The state should pay for the Act 46 tax incentives that reward merging districts directly rather than allowing that cost to drive up property taxes in the Education Fund.
BALANCED ENERGY POLICIES
Efficiency, conservation, & small scale renewable energy should be pursued in order to reduce climate change emissions. We must reform any state tax provisions that subsidize fossil fuel use.
Regulation of electric utilities should be done with the interests of ratepayers as the first priority instead of catering to the utilities.
Vermont’s air quality, water quality, natural resources, & wildlife habitats must be protected: a healthy environment is the foundation of ALL sustainable economic activity. Everyone must take responsibility for preventing damage from activities rather than imposing costs on the environment
& on their neighbors. We must prevent pollution, we must require polluters to pay for the costs of cleaning up environmental damage, & we must not subsidize polluting activities with tax dollars.
COMMUNITY HEALTH & SAFETY
We must continue to make targeted investments in school safety, the mental health system, treatment for drug addiction, funding for law enforcement, & criminal justice reform. We must also continue to support the ongoing push to get health insurance for all Vermonters and to coordinate delivery of care to improve quality and lower costs. We must hold the pharmaceutical companies responsible for their careless marketing of addictive opiates.