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Meet your candidate: Addison-Rutland, Alyson Eastman

HEALTH CARE: The government should play a role in healthcare. It seems there is Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor; surely there is a need to complete the gap in coverage for those that do not fit into either of those categories. I believe the Legislature should continue moving forward in an effort to improve the current system and options for those seeking coverage. I often wonder why health insurance can’t be purchased like an auto or life insurance policy.
SCHOOL FUNDING: I have a variety of ideas on school funding — too many for my 100-word limit! In these last few years (as I’ve sat on the local Orwell Village School Board and Addison Rutland Supervisory School Board) my knowledge of school funding has been exponentially stretched! It’s disappointing that our state continues to have difficulty funding education. In Orwell 72 percent of our budget voted on in March of 2014 was salary and benefits, which left the 28 percent to cut if the budget hadn’t passed. I am proud that all of our children have the opportunity of being educated. I look forward to discussions on school funding and the opportunity to bring my knowledge to the table.
TRANSPARENCY: As a lawmaker I would like to make myself very approachable. My hope is that I have the resources to assist who approach me. I will take time to return e-mails and phone calls and use my resources to assist in any manner possible. Communication goes a long way. I’m excited to meet my constituents and work for them.
OPIATE ADDICTION: I’m not overly educated on this topic. I acknowledge that help is needed and there is a statewide problem with opiate addiction. I look forward to learning more.
HIGHER EDUCATION: I would be interested to see the return on investment for those that attend college. It’s difficult because there is no true tracking for those that receive a higher education. I ask, what would happen if each student that graduated with a college degree had to pay a small percentage of their gross wages to the institution for a fixed term upon graduation? I think it would be great to allow the student different financial plans to choose from. For example, if a student chose to pay back by percentage of gross earnings, it would be in the institution’s best interest to place each student in a workplace offering the most for compensation upon completion of their degree. This would ensure the highest possible pay back to the institution. This formula would hold both the student and institution accountable.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: It’s important for government to keep the pace of the economy and growth at a level in which it can be supported throughout. Financial and Economic Development are closely related which causes area for great concern when making economic changes. As a pragmatic thinker in today’s world of technology I see so much opportunity for economic and financial growth, especially with so many resources at our fingertips via the internet. The paradigms will continue to shift which might make it difficult for government to have a pulse on all of the variabilities that drive economic growth.
CANDIDATE’S CHOICE: I’m excited for the renewable energy choices we have today. Though I’m not sold on the solar power as of yet. I can honestly say I’m interested in hearing more. Six years ago my husband and I built our house and installed a geothermal heating/cooling unit. There is not a day that goes by when I see a fuel truck during the winter and wish it was stopping at my house. I support renewable energy and hope that there is further progress made in Vermont. 

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