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.
I don’t pretend that this list is complete, nor do I claim that our actions in the Legislature made some of these results as good as they are. It takes creating a positive atmosphere where businesses can succeed, or schools can set curricula, or families can work hard and make ends meet. I believe we did this with the legislation that we passed and that became law. Not everyone agrees with the path these choices lead down, and I acknowledge that. Legislation comes from compromise. Would I like to see a higher minimum wage? Absolutely. Some would object, saying the market should set the rate. Unfortunately, the market didn’t keep wages high enough to pay for market rates for rent, or gas, or housing. Our raise, over four years, will create new jobs and will allow those who must work for this wage an opportunity to make ends meet with a little less help from the government. The level we agreed on was a the result of a compromise, and when no one is happy (it is said), then it must be a successful compromise.
Feel free to take the time to read about the many things that did become law this year, and at the positive growth in our economy. I would be happy to discuss any of this with you. From requiring labeling of GMOs to allowing veterans an opportunity to use their military training to promote a trade licensure, we achieved a great many things these last two years.
I’m grateful for your feedback and for your support. Stay in touch, and I hope to see you on the campaign trail.
Oh, by the way, if you want to see everything I did, or sponsored, or worked on over the last six years, please visit the Legislator Lookup at Vermont Digger. It is an excellent resource if your keeping tabs on your local legislators!