Friday, October 26, 2007

General Update

Happy Halloween.

As many of you already know, the Vermont Legislature meets as an entirety only from January to May, give or take a few weeks. But there’s a lot of legislative activity during the remaining months.

Over the summer and now fall, I’ve been to many meetings, spoken with constituents, researched bills, and been to prison (as part of research, really). Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been up to:

My visit to the Community Health Center on Riverside Avenue was informative. It’s amazing how they’ve grown over the years, now with state-of-the-art equipment, offering tremendous services to low-income and some middle-income families and individuals.

The Labor Day rally was fun to march in, and my one-year-old Max enjoyed it too, including the ice cream and burgers afterwards. He didn’t get as much out of hearing Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, and many union representatives speak as I did. Hot topics discussed included raising the minimum wage and ensuring that all Vermonters and Americans have healthcare, and the outrageous human and financial costs of the Iraq war to Americans and Vermonters.
Saving Vermont taxpayers tens of millions of dollars while making society safer is the goal of one of my biggest legislative efforts. I’m continuing to hear testimony work toward that end.

I’ve also sat down with business leaders from Burlington and Chittenden County to hear what issues are on their mind: rising health care costs, the challenge of increasing sales, finding qualified job applicants, containing overall costs, among other issues.

I’ve also been involved in several other issues and work, including the Vermont State Hospital and caring for Vermonters with mental health challenges, children of incarcerated parents, global warming and environmentally visionary legislation, racial profiling, and fairer taxes for low-income and middle-income Vermonters, among others. There's lots to do before the next Legislative session begins on January 8. Stay tuned....


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