We in the Legislature accomplished a great deal in this biennium. We responded quickly to damage caused by the floods of 2011, reimbursed towns for educational property tax abatements, postponed payment into the education fund, guaranteed the 25% FEMA match for buyouts of destroyed homes, increased the state match for town highways, and capped the burden on towns overwhelmed by Irene’s destruction. We set up a mechanism to redirect general funds for property taxpayer relief, and authorized a working group that will clarify if school spending is creating equal educational opportunities for all our children. In nonpartisan fashion we redistricted the state, restructured our mental health system, and advanced economic development through our working landscapes and Vermont-based alcohol production bills. With our largest transportation expenditure in history we addressed our infrastructure needs. All of this we did while still balancing the budget.
Yet, in the aftermath of Irene and the continuation of the recession, much remains to be done. Our challenges include long-term Irene recovery, economic development with livable-wage employment, tax reform, affordable housing, universal health care, statewide cell phone and broadband coverage, and restoration of essential programs damaged by budget cuts in the last few years.
To be part of the answer to these challenges, I am asking for continued support from the voters of Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, and Whitingham, as I run for reelection as the Windham-Bennington state representative.
I can be reached at 58 Hi-Hopes Road, Wardsboro, VT 05355, or call (802) 896-9408, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It continues to be an honor to serve you.