Add-4 Candidate Valerie Mullin Q & A
HEALTH CARE: VHC has spent closing in on $300 million and is not as operational as New Hampshire’s $8 million exchange. Last week the state disclosed a security breach of 695 VHC customers and a call center which the state cannot manage to meet customers’ needs leaving thousands of abandoned calls per month. Rid the mandate which requires businesses and individuals to purchase health insurance through VHC. Shift to the federal exchange and/or offer health insurance across state lines. Offering Health Care Savings Accounts which can roll over year after year that pretax dollars can be used toward deductibles, prescriptions or health care costs would give us much needed flexibility.
SCHOOLS: Spending smart is more important than ever. For students who have a passion in a career path, more vocational school options gives students a head start in learning in their chosen field. School credit for being an apprentice gives hands on learning while also gaining experience. An underutilized option is web-based learning. Children today learn differently. Computers have been part of their learning since they were infants. If students were allowed to take on-line courses with teacher guidance, students can thrive at their own pace while giving expanded options of learning at low cost.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: While I was at a business expo two things were requested. One industrial business has been waiting months for a permit to add three garage doors. Waiting is costing thousands. Others say their business is one proposed sales tax away from leaving Vermont, along with millions in revenue. They didn’t request another “program” or even tax incentives. They want government not to work against them, but with them, streamlining permitting processes and development regulations. Businesses just want a tax and business friendly environment and they will thrive.
Businesses also requested a partnership with schools matching what they require for skilled workers to what is being taught. Apprentice opportunities give students work experience and business a broader employment pool.
I’m proudly endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses because I know how to start and grow a successful business. This is the opportunity I want for every hard working Vermonter.
OPIATE ADDICTION: Dealers should be prosecuted to the maximum, each and every time. The top 2 things which create despair is death of loved ones and financial instability. Sometimes family creates hope however there also needs to be financial hope. Hope that their life can be better through clean and sober living. Rehab which is readily available and good paying jobs can be a part of giving hope that a clean life is worth striving for.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: The siting and development of industrial wind and solar is currently out of the control of local input. Currently developers are favored over families and communities with a financial impact to the value of homes, towns and at a scenic cost to our ridgeline views. 155 towns signed with Rutland’s Town Resolution which calls for energy developers to comply with “appropriately-developed municipal siting standards.” The Public Service Board can “interpret” a town plan and come to its own conclusion. The ability of a town to appeal the decision of a regional planning commission should be kept. The PSB should be working with towns for the best outcome for our states interest.
AGRICULTURE: Vermont farmers have taken many steps to work toward the goal of cleaner state waterways. Cover crops and infusion of manure directly into the soil assists in less run off. The state should be putting its focus where there’s phosphorous runoff in the areas of the state where it would receive the most impact. It does not make sense to have millions and millions of gallons of untreated human waste being dumped into the lake and then spend millions to clean up the lake. Shoring up our waste water treatment plants should be a top priority.
CANDIDATE’S CHOICE: I’m running to make a difference on the issues which will impact Vermonter’s every day. Improved employment opportunities through economic prosperity, reasonable health care costs, and local education financing decisions.
The cost of living in Vermont is getting more out of reach with every tax and fee increase Montpelier’s super majority has imposed. Restraint on fiscal spending at, or just below the revenue growth is being responsible to taxpayers. We cannot tax our way to prosperity so no carbon or service tax. To get something different, we need to do something different. I ask for your vote on Nov. 8.
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: No
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