October 29th, 2010
As Americans head to the polls angry at Washington politics and upset by high unemployment, home foreclosures, bank and auto industry bailouts, a rising deficit and a loss of global competitiveness, Vermonters have good reason to re-elect Sen. Patrick Leahy, D, for another six-year term, and Rep. Peter Welch, D, to his third two-year term. That reason? Both have served the state well with honesty, openness, hard work that has paid off, and political positions that put the common good ahead of special interests.
On the question of whether to support an amendment to the state constitution to allow some 17-year-old residents to vote in state primaries, the critical question is this: Will it encourage more young Vermonters to vote or not?
The intent of the amendment is to get Vermont’s youth more involved in voting at a slightly earlier age — perhaps when some are in their senior year in high school. The amendment specifically allows for 17-year-old Vermont residents, who will turn 18 before the general election, to vote in the primary.
STATE BUDGET: We need to establish a truly collaborative working relationship among the Legislature, the administration, and the agencies and employees involved. We are in this together and must seek solutions that spread the sacrifices that are going to be necessary as fairly as possible. Pursuing economic growth policies will gradually lead to an increase in tax revenues.
Many questions about the Vermont elections remain unsettled in the final week of the campaign.
Peter Welch and Patrick Leahy will be returned to the House and Senate by substantial margins. But will Democrats Welch and Leahy be members of the majority or the minority party when the 112th Congress convenes in January? Welch is likely to be in the minority in the House, while enough of Leahy’s Senate Democratic colleagues should be re-elected that he will continue in the majority.
STATE BUDGET: The level of expenditures in the Vermont state budget is unsustainable until such time as a significant and reliable increase in revenues is seen. The only way to increase those revenues is to grow the economy, which needs to happen but will not occur overnight. In the meantime, the challenge to the new legislature is two-fold: