The biggest driver of our cost crisis is sky-rocketing healthcare cost, especially for drugs. The ever higher cost of healthcare for businesses and their employees inflates the cost of everything we buy. It is the biggest driver of the cost of state services and thus our taxes. It also impacts us all as healthcare consumers. We should:
Enact Universal Primary Care, including reproductive health;
Finish building the single-payer healthcare system we committed to;
Explore forming a drug purchasing coop with other states to control costs; and,
Enact a living wage law so all working Vermonters can afford to lead a dignified life.
Among the most important jobs of government is to protect it’s citizens. I want to make law-abiding people safer. For serious felons, we should lock them up. For nonviolent and young offenders we need to do everything we can to divert them from crime and jail, and make sure they don’t become hardened criminals or inmates for life. We should:
Expand and support Rutland’s groundbreaking Project Vision;
Make sure our criminal justice system works for all Vermonters regardless of race;
End private prisons; and,
Provide treatment on demand for all drug users.
Rutland needs growing businesses and productive investment. We should:
Simplify state permitting to encourage diverse mixed use of land and buildings;
Support Rutland Economic Development Corporation to attract new business and help existing ones grow; and,
Offer fiscally responsible incentives to attract and strengthen businesses and make sure that there are clear and measurable outcomes.
We are in a climate crisis! Our safety, security, health and the quality of life of our children and grandchildren depend on protecting the integrity of our environment. Fortunately, there is a huge economic opportunity for Rutland in the new clean energy economy. We should:
Increase participation in and control of our energy future through programs like community solar and Efficiency Vermont;
Ensure clean water for all by making polluters pay for clean up;
Become a renewable energy-powered community;
Fully fund weatherization programs to make energy efficiency affordable to all;
Move forward with continued funding for protecting our streams and waterways; and,
Ensure no more short-sighted investment in fossil fuel infrastructure that only benefits enormous corporations.
We are the second oldest county in the second oldest state by population. We must keep our young people and attract families. We should:
Provide two years free community college or technical school;
Create a school debt tax credit for those staying and working in Vermont, where tuition loan payments would earn a tax credit on income tax;
Ensure paid family leave;
Create a welcoming environment for immigrants and refugees; and,
Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
We need to pass a comprehensive anti-political corruption law the gives voters a voice, ends secret money, stops the bribery and vigorously enforces the rules. See VTACT.ORG for more details.