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Letter to the editor: Bipartisan bill could help many

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Posted on September 6, 2018 |
By John McCormick



Regarding the Addison Independent’s Aug. 23 editorial, “Will Trump drown in the swamp he created?”, there is a back side of that mirror pointed at our national politics. Since all politics is really local, Vermonters should tell our story.

Travel Vermont’s highways and enjoy its Green Mountains. Then try to imagine the view if those trees had been ravaged by acid rain plaguing the Northeast 40 years ago.

In the early 1980s, the Environment Committee Chairman, Sen. Bob Stafford, working with colleague Rep. Jim Jeffords, wrote the acid rain protection section of the federal Clean Air Act signed by President George H. W. Bush and implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency created by President Richard Nixon.

In today’s politics of tribal rivalries, reflect on Vermont’s earlier (and current) leadership representing their ideas and ideals that raised the bar of integrity for their successors. It is undeniable Democrats will need the support of Republicans to clean up the mess in Washington. One party rule is anathema to democracy. It denies representation for competing parties in our three-legged form of government. Think before casting that vote.

Challenges, in Vermont, include the cost of living and energy costs rank high on the list. Fortunately the General Assembly debated a bill to ease energy burdens of low-income families by including a $5 million bond for 2019 and another in 2020 for loans to weatherize their homes. Introduced by Rep. Fred Baser, approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Scott, it goes to the heart of Scott’s commitments to make Vermont more affordable and address climate change.

Baser is now focused on drafting legislation to help families that do not qualify for a loan but desperately need their homes weatherized. He intends to bring Gov. Scott along to create “off budget” funds to provide grants to accomplish this. It can be a bi-partisan effort, in the next General Assembly, when Republicans and Democrats work together (even with mutual respect) to reduce those families’ heating costs and carbon dioxide emissions; a Stafford-Jeffords win for both parties.

John McCormick

Bristol

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