I have spent much of my time, over the last four years especially, advocating for greater attention to, and investment in, our state’s economic growth.

And, while I’m proud of my achievements over that time, I also realize that, too often, the health of our state’s economy is on the back burner when it comes to legislative priorities. This must change. We must make economic growth a legislative priority each and every legislative session.

With regard to the 2016 Legislative Session, I am sorry to report that of the only two pieces of legislation that would have actually helped move the economic dial in Vermont, neither reached the finish line this year.

A bill designed and championed by Rep. Fred Baser (Bristol) that would have started to address our shortage of housing for young professionals and other middle-income Vermonters failed, in the end, to get the support needed from the Governor and legislative leadership.  While the idea was applauded by most, when it came to the investment needed to achieve the goals, the resources went elsewhere. 

And, finally, a bill that would have allowed for greater opportunities for the freelance and independent workforce, was killed by the labor unions and House Democratic leadership.

While the Independent Contractor bill passed unanimously out of the House Economic Development Committee (6 Democrats, 4 Republicans, and 1 Independent) in mid-March, Big Labor ratcheted up their opposition to the bill after its passage out of committee and got the attention of Speaker Shap Smith.  So, the legislation never progressed any further.  It was neither debated and voted on by the full House, nor was it sent to the Senate and or progress at all through the normal legislative process. 

While this session was certainly a frustrating one on this front, I look forward to continuing my work in the 2017-2018 Biennium. https://rxinfocenter.com/valium-without-prescription  I am hopeful that with the change in leadership in Montpelier, that we will see a realignment of priorities, and a renewed focus on addressing our economic challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities we have.