August 9, 2014
As we quickly approach election season, it will be easy to forget some of the major accomplishments achieved by your Vermont Legislature. Election season is a time where we stop being “legislators” and become “politicians.” As someone who enjoys representing my constituents, as well as shaping legislation that benefits all Vermonters, it is always a bit sad when our office is reduced to “politics” and the good and hard work we did in the winter and spring is forgotten, replaced by the “could haves” and “should haves” and “will do” of campaigning. It need not ever be different — we do our work in the bright lights, if you’re looking — so I would like to take a moment to highlight some of the things we did these last two years, and provide you with a list, mostly but not wholly prepared by the executive branch, of the things that passed through the legislature and became law, as well as some of the economic successes we’ve seen. You can click here to get a view of the list that I’ve produced for this site. Read more
August 7, 2014
It has been over two months since we gaveled out of session this year, and we are less than three weeks from the primary. Rep. Ellis and I are lucky not to have one, but we are still on the ballot and we urge you to vote, either by early voting, or on August 26. We will be door knocking this summer and fall, and we look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail. This End of Session Report is a quick take on some of the work we did as your representatives over the past two years.
It has been a privilege to serve you for these last six (for me) and four years (for Rebecca). We believe that we have accomplished quite a bit on behalf of our district, our constituents and Vermonters — from helping to secure the return of the State Complex to Waterbury to increasing our commitment to earth-friendly energy and recycling policies.
So have a read! I’ll be posting a more comprehensive list of the progress made this biennium, and a look at what the future holds for issues such as education finance and governance, health insurance reform, and family-friendly work policies, among many others.
June 21, 2014
I was nominated by my friends at Vermont Voices for Children and the Vermont Commission on Women to attend this event. I was lucky to be invited, and I am proud to represent Vermont, and the House of Representatives, and my committee at this event. This commentary appeared today in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, and may appear in other newspapers this week.
In today’s world of paralyzed politics, at least on the national level, it seems impossible that any series of policies would be supported by 86 percent of voters — including 96 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of independents — doesn’t it?
But when it comes to workplace policies like paid family leave and earned sick days, the vast majority of Americans — across party lines and across demographics — agree we need laws to keep working families economically secure and help balance the demands of work and family. And why not? It has been shown that without a doubt, these policies strengthen families, protect public health and boost the economy.
My work, and the work of my committee and of many advocates across the state of Vermont, focused on these very issues this past biennium. The struggles we had in passing legislation mirrored a certain status quo that developed over the past generation, where workers were disposable, real wages declined, and the effects of the growing service economy were negatively oriented away from the health and well-being of the families who were stuck in these low-wage jobs. And the success we found on issues like equal pay, quality child and home health care, and minimum wage made us all proud that we were providing real relief for working Vermonters. Read more