Senate Candidate Peter Briggs Q & A
HEALTH CARE: The role of government in health care should be assist Vermonters who need help in obtaining coverage while allowing the 70 percent +/- of Vermonters who are capable of taking care of themselves to obtain coverage on the open market. Another option could be care through a Direct-Payer model coupled with Major Medical insurance coverage, which is the only system to hold the potential to stop the increase in care costs and decrease it at the same time. All-Payer like Single-Payer will be complex and will likely lead to long waiting times to get care, brought on by global budgeting.
SCHOOLS: For a person who wishes to go into the trades, education could be provided by a voucher that would allow the recipient to go to an establishment that specializes in the trade that they wish to learn. For those that want to do an apprenticeship a waiver for the minimum wage could be provided to a business so that the business could afford to employ the student. For those that want to go to college and can’t afford it, the GI bill will allow them to serve their country and then go to college.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: When people say taxes are too high they are right. In 2014 Vermont collected $4,720 per person, which was $991 more taxes per individual than Massachusetts, while Massachusetts’ median income was $14,994 more than Vermont. This level of taxation robs Vermonters of disposable income and squeezes business profit margins. Yet incumbents are pushing a $500 million Carbon Tax, $400 million Dr. Dynasaur 2.0, $240 million 2 percent Payroll Tax for Universal Primary Care, $12-$45 million free college, and $50-$100 million taxpayer funded Pre-K. Average the cost for free college and pre-K, add it all up and the price tag is $1.2 billion, or $1983 per person. If all passes in the next biennium, we will be on the way to a $6710 tax burden per person by 2018. This has got to stop!
OPIATE ADDICTION: It is important to pass sustainable budgets to grow the economy so that there is revenue to provide help to recovering addicts, provide resources to law enforcement and to grow the job sector, because the best prevention for addiction is a good job.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: The myth of local control has been blown to pieces when the Department of Public Service released “Determination Standards for Energy Compliance” in response to Act 174. It is 16 pages of extremely complex questions that small towns, like most of those in Addison County, will find it extremely hard and expensive to comply with. The questions on the check list suggest that the goal is not only to replace the fossil fuels currently used, but to also collect information which state energy planners will use to re-engineer our entire society, while forcing towns to participate in their own demise.
AGRICULTURE: I would encourage the installation of tile drainage for nutrient efficiency, water quality, soil fertility, and crop yield that it provides. Irrigation would be a useful tool in Addison County. Biochar has the potential to add soil fertility, improve water quality, sequester carbon, increase crop growth, increase animal health and production, and add general farm sustainability. Digesters should see increased use for methane reduction, energy production, and quality fertilizer.
CANDIDATE’S CHOICE: I want cameras in the Senate and House chambers as well as every committee room that are streamlined online when one is in session.
I also believe in regular drug testing for elected state officials.
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: No