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Where Do We Go From Here?

November 9, 2012

reptomstevens

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With the election results in, our thinking can turn toward the upcoming session, and we can begin to focus on the issues that will make a difference to Vermonters. In the four years I’ve served, I can’t recall having an easy set of issues — from the deepest recession since the Depression to the worst flooding since 1927.

This year? For Waterbury, we will still be concentrating in recovery from Irene. We have received planning money, and that will help, but we are also waiting to finish negotiations with the state on two buildings that may house a new municipal complex, and the state is laboring toward a completion of negotiations with FEMA. In Huntington and Bolton and Buels Gore, we will continue to monitor state-based projects, as well as their infrastructure needs.

Statewide, we will continue to move forward with the health insurance exchanges, and continue to move forward our investigation into universal health care. Health insurance reform and reform of our care delivery system is proving to be as difficult as promised, and while I remain optimistic, it is clear that the details matter, legalities matter, and those categories are far from the theoretical discourse we have experienced until recently.

Job creation will remain a focus, as will education issues, from paying for it to dealing with a new Secretary of Education. Rebuilding and redesigning our mental health care system remains a priority. And labor issues, from fair share to mandatory overtime prohibition to paid sick leave will be addressed as well

We have a full plate. Between now and January we will be receiving fiscal updates from the administration, and we will begin building legislation to consider for the next biennium.

We are not yet sure what our committee assignments will be, as they won’t be determined until the beginning of the biennium. I have been proud of the work I’ve accomplished on General, Housing & Military Affairs. Where I serve next is out of my hands, but wherever it is, I will serve my constituents and all of Vermont with integrity and warmth, helping to make Vermont the best place to live, work, play, grow up and grow old!

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