Vermont is different. Small. Independent minded. Frugal. It is the challenge for Vermont’s government, particularly the Legislature, to support Vermonters in productive ways so that the state can grow and develop wisely, and at the same time do so without overburdening its residents.
It seems to me that strict political ideologies make meeting these challenges more difficult. The process of governing is finding good answers to difficult problems. Sometimes this involves compromise. While I am a Democrat and believe that government has a vital role in meeting those challenges, I also recognize that creating laws is about balance: Balancing the good that can be done with the cost of doing so.
Some things we need to do:
- We must have the infrastructure needed to support our state’s economy — roads, bridges, broadband, etc.
- We have to provide real education for our young people, including real life education for those entering the work force.
- We have to provide adequate and affordable health care to all of our residents.
- We have to provide reasonable and fair access to our court system and to make sure that our courts have the resources to handle the caseloads presented to it.
- We have to balance the needs of our farms of all sizes with our need to protect the environment. The State of Vermont cannot afford to lose either its farms or its natural beauty.
- We have to balance the needs for reasonably priced energy and the need to turn to alternative sources of energy with the effects on our homes and towns.
I do not pretend to have all of the answers to these questions. I do intend to give them thoughtful consideration. I do intend to listen to Vermonters’ concerns. I will do my best to work to make all the laws we pass in Vermont fair to Vermonters.