As I have done for the past eight years, I will continue to advocate for a safe and efficient transportation system that enhances our economy, limits carbon emissions, and provides multi-modal options for all users.
In my work on the transportation committee, I have sponsored and supported the following legislation and initiatives:
Secured funding for emergency Western Avenue paving, bridge reconstruction, and bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements for the town of Brattleboro.
Legislative appointee to the Vermont Public Transit Advisory Council, supporting improved transit service throughout the state, including the Greyhound route through Brattleboro.
Lead sponsor of legislation to protect bicyclists, pedestrians, and persons with disabilities on Vermont roadways.
Promoted legislation to tighten DUI laws and keep impaired drivers off the road.
Lead sponsor of legislation granting a driving privilege card to migrant workers on Vermont dairy farms.
Worked with the American Lung Association to pass legislation to prohibit unnecessary vehicle idling in order to promote public health and reduce carbon emissions.
Worked with AARP to sponsor "Complete Streets" legislation considering the needs of all users of the transportation system in the planning and implementation of new projects.
I believe in investing in innovative technology businesses, sustainable building, and the arts.
I was a proud sponsor of legislation that created the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, an economic development plan that has helped to bring $150,000 in support to Brattleboro farming, forestry, and value-added businesses, and over $300,000 to enterprises all over Windham County. I will continue to support this program, which helps to keep and create local jobs, and to preserve the visual landscape for our tourism industry. .
I support the Climate Change Economy Initiative, a competitive strategy for promoting innovative economic development while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
I support budget expenditures for home weatherization programs to create jobs and cut fuel bills.
Budget and Taxes
I support a responsible state budget, using the "Results-Based Accountability" method to determine spending priorities.
I support tax equity and tax relief. The total tax burden falls most heavily on middle-class Vermonters, and budget-cutting measures affect very low-income families. I support efforts to make Vermont taxes more progressive, and to ensure that those with the highest incomes pay their fair share.
I supported a bill (H-656) in the 2015–2016 Legislative session that would extend income sensitivity to all Vermonters and base school taxes on income. This would reduce property taxes for Vermonters earning less than $200,000 a year.
I believe that raising the minimum wage will help workers provide a decent living for their families, will stimulate the economy, and will keep people off costly state services.
I voted to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour by 2017. I support increasing the minimum wage to $12.50 per hour by 2018, and moving gradually up to the livable wage of $15 per hour.
Women and Families
I believe in promoting economic policies for women and families. When women are supported and successful, everyone benefits.
As co-chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, I am working to promote economic opportunity and equal pay for women, in order to lift families out of poverty, reduce dependence on state services, and add money to the state’s economy. We are currently engaged in planning a joint conference with the Women Business Owner’s Network for October 2016, to address challenges and opportunities for women business owners.
I co-sponsored two Equal Pay Day resolutions in 2015 and 2016 to bring public attention to the issue of wage inequality. I will continue to press for legislation that addresses equal pay.
I have also been involved with the group Building Bright Futures to discuss ways to create affordable childcare in Vermont. The lack of adequate childcare poses a great barrier for women struggling to get ahead in the workplace.
Health and Welfare
I support the expansion of health insurance options and attempts to cut treatment costs. The state also faces major challenges regarding access to mental health services, and opiate addiction treatment. I look forward to working with colleagues of all political parties to address these serious issues that threaten our families and our communities.
I believe firmly in the economic impact of investing in the arts. As a member of the Legislative Arts Caucus, I will continue to support full state appropriation to the Vermont Arts Council.
In testimony before the House Commerce Committee last session, I testified on behalf of artists and non-profit arts organizations to clarify labor laws regarding independent contractors
Climate change is the most serious and most challenging issue we face as citizens, in our state, nation, and the world. It is already threatening our Vermont economy, especially in terms of ski tourism, maple syrup production, and autumn foliage.
As a member of the Legislative Climate Caucus, I have supported legislation to cut carbon emissions in the state from all sectors. Since 47% of Vermont’s emissions come from the transportation sector, I support expansion of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to include transportation fuels. The money generated can go into public transit infrastructure and electric vehicle subsidies.
I also support the Climate Change Economy Initiative, a competitive strategy for innovative economic development and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
I will continue to listen to the concerns of the people in my district, represent them with integrity in Montpelier, and assist them with accessing state services and resources.