My 2022 Priorities
As I ask for your help to begin my 6th term representing you in the Senate, it’s important that I highlight the priorities that I believe are critical to Vermont’s future.
- Get More People Working. Worker shortages are the greatest threat to Vermont's economy as key jobs, such as childcare, nursing, public employees, the trades and farm workers, remain unfilled. We must attract workers, return people to the workforce, improve skills and reengineer how some work is done in order to address Vermont’s demographic and workforce crisis.
- Get More Housing. We must address our severe shortage of housing, especially for low-income and middle-class Vermonters. The absence of affordable housing is directly related to our worker shortage. We need to modernize our regulatory environment to encourage new housing that can be built faster and less expensively while still achieving our essential environmental goals
- Use Federal Money Wisely. We have received billions in Federal funds as a result of the pandemic. We’ve dealt with many of the emergency needs, such as unemployment relief, temporary shelter and insulating families and business from the shock of the downturn. We must use the remaining one-time funds wisely, focusing on making transformational changes, particular around infrastructure, rather than creating programs that will continue to need funding that we cannot afford when the Federal windfall goes away. Roads, bridges, internet connectivity, cell reception, school construction, and water quality are just a few of the areas in which we should concentrate.
- Make Vermont Affordable. We need to keep our tax policy focused on ensuring that Vermont can be affordable to those who want to live here. As the Senate Minority Leader and as a member of the Finance Committee, I successfully fought for lowering 2022 property taxes and for tax cuts on Social Security and military retirement. I’ll continue to resist the temptation to adopt tax policies that drive away the workers we need to come here and to stay here.
- Get High-Speed Internet Everywhere. High-speed broadband is essential to ensure that we don’t have two separate Vermonts, one with modern connectivity and a second, rural Vermont, that remains in the dark. As Chair of the Joint Information Technology Oversight Committee, I am committed to fulfill the promise of bringing high speed internet to every home in the state. I have sponsored and supported legislation to do exactly that, and I have worked to see that the funding and operational plans to achieve this are in place. I want to continue this critical work in the legislature and see it through.