Senate Candidate Lynn Dike Q & A
HEALTH CARE: Government should do everything it can to lower the cost of high quality and easily accessible health care. Education, training and outreach which would help people to live healthier lives should be part of this initiative. We should wait for the report which is coming out in December to decide the fate of Vermont Health Connect.
SCHOOLS: We should start by including vocational/technical and business classes in the High School curriculum. We should also be putting more focus on the practical skills needed for adult life such as: money management, stress reduction, problem solving and coping / relationship skills.
I do not know what the cost would be, but I don’t think it would be too hard to incorporate them into the already existing model.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: The government should stop placing unfunded mandates on employers. The employer should be able to set the wage and benefits that he/she is able to provide and the potential employee has the choice whether to accept them or not. If the employer is unable to get the qualified workers that he needs, he will have to increase the wage and benefit package. I do believe that merit raises are excellent motivation.
I believe “worker training” should be started at a young age, at home and in school, with character building activities. Training for specific jobs requires different categories of education. Some employees get on the job training while others need to have the training when they apply for a job. If costly training is required, adults should have the same access to financial aide as HS students. Perhaps the government could provide “no interest loans.”
OPIATE ADDICTION: This is a problem that must be addressed immediately and aggressively. We have to get to the root of this problem. People have a lot of fear, anger and hopelessness these days and some can not cope. We all have basic needs and these must be met or we may turn to anything just to feel better or be accepted. We have to make help more accessible. At the same time, there has to be law enforcement to deal with illegal activities that sometimes go along with addictions.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: No, The PSB should give more consideration to the town zoning or development plans and should work with local officials in good faith while deciding on siting.
AGRICULTURE: First, I would give farmers credit for what they have already done and tell them how much we need and appreciate them. Next, I would stop placing unfunded mandates on them. Regulations must be clear and easily accessible. Farmers need support and assistance. They need cooperative efforts, not punitive ones.
I would make sure everyone is following the same rules. Some municipalities and businesses are polluting the lake and are not being held liable. It seems very clear to me that something ought to be done about this. Those systems need to be fixed or upgraded.
CANDIDATE’S CHOICE: We have many challenges here in Vermont and our precious United States. Life will go on, no matter who is elected, but it will be a lot better if we can work together and get along. Please, be careful of name calling and the words you are saying at this time. We have an enemy but it is not each other. And, another thing to remember, as much as you might like, want or disagree with something, someone else feels just the opposite and they have a right to. Every one of us matters!
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: No