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Meet your candidate: Valerie Mullin, Addison-4

HEALTH CARE: Government’s role is to protect patient safety, maintain health standards, license providers, insure solvency reserves, and ensure timely access to care. It is governments roll to provide a safety net to those unable to afford healthcare.
What government should not do is to create a multi-billion dollar health care monopoly where patients have no choices, providers are controlled by government and taxpayers assessed staggering new taxes.
Vermont lawmakers have already shown they’re willing to underfund hospitals to solve deficits and it’s a dangerous precedent. We should, in President Obama’s words, recognize “that consumers do better when there is choice and competition” (9/9/09).
SCHOOL FUNDING: We shouldn’t have a system where towns who level fund their budgets end up having double digit property tax increases so I’d work to repeal Act 60/68 and replace it with transparent and easily understood funding. Currently education funding consumes ever more of our tax dollars, even as the number of pupils is shrinking by a thousand a year. Empowering parents to choose their children’s education among competing providers such as many Vermonters currently have force both public and independent schools to innovate in order to attract pupils causing downward pressure on per pupil costs, thus on property taxes.
TRANSPARENCY: The Department of Finance and Management has taken constructive steps to make state financial information readily available online. The Legislature should consider adopting President Obama’s proposal to post all legislation online for 72 hours before a final vote. Even though abandoned, I think it’s a good plan. Presently on Facebook at Valerie Mullin for Vermont House you can follow me and postings of information which I will continue if I’m elected. The more informed we are about how our representatives are representing us and our values the better off we will be.
OPIATE ADDICTION: We need to provide timely treatment options. When an addict is requesting help at their lowest point, this is the time to deliver treatment, not put them on a list. Penalties for dealers need to be tougher. Doctors should be disincentivized to overprescribe pain medications by payments from insurance vs. physical therapy. We should work with pawn shops if they unknowingly purchase stolen goods, which will lead to better cooperation with police, plus personal responsibility through restitution offered as part of treatment. Following the drug addicts’ money source can lead to lower crime which affects us all.
HIGHER EDUCATION: I support dual enrollment for Vermont students which will help lower the cost of higher education for some. However, many students arrive at college unprepared and this adds to the cost of a college education.
In Vermont, we need to get spending for K-12 education under control so that state spending on higher education for UVM and our state college system can be maintained.
Higher education is evolving rapidly. We’re likely to see more online web classes being blended with classroom learning. By adding job training and internship experiences that students can receive credit for it will give more well-rounded education to graduates. These options will enable students with many learning styles to thrive and make the college experience more valuable. This could help reduce the cost of earning a degree or provide a more marketable certificate of accomplishment and produce a better qualified work force.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: I support workforce training, my Mother worked at Waterbury state hospital mentoring job training clients. I saw firsthand how this empowered people not only out of poverty; it gave them along with their family, a future with financial hope. Government should maintain regulations that are reasonable. Taxes and mandates on business will always drive off economic development and should be restrained. I support infrastructure improvements to facilitate industry and reducing state mandates to encourage small business. I don’t support the state handing out tax breaks to politically favored applicants. I believe we should have level playing fields for all businesses.
If we are going to get our economy growing we must rein in spending, lower taxes and reduce burdensome regulations that are stifling job growth. Vermonters can no longer continue state spending that is growing faster than their paychecks.
CANDIDATE’S CHOICE: I have a wealth of life experience which enables me to understand how government policies affect people. I also understand how irresponsible spending and taxation affects the everyday person who is just trying to get by.
Like you, I’m worried about the lack of opportunities for our children.
I would ask you to take a minute to review the voting records of our current representatives Fisher and Sharpe at www. http://ethanallen.org/roll-call-profile/ and then ask yourself are you financially better off than you were 2 years ago?
If elected, I will work to get Vermont back on track and our economy growing again. 

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