Questions & Answers
Do you support a face mask mandate in public spaces?
No. I wear a mask whenever I leave my home. As State Treasurer I would encourage everyone in the office to wear a mask. The best way to convince Vermonters of the importance of wearing masks is through education. All Vermonters need to wear masks but we should convince them through education, not through government mandate.
Should K-12 schools should return to in-person learning this fall?
This is not a question the Treasurer will have to solve. However, there are many questions that need to be answered before schools can open safely. As of July 22nd, we are not yet ready. Online learning should be continued.
Do you think Vermont's property tax rates are too high?
Yes. I believe the question refers to school property tax, not the municipal property tax. The statewide school property tax worked well for a while, but after 20 years of use, it needs to be replaced. Non-school costs need to be moved over to Social Services.
Do you think the state is doing enough to address climate change?
Yes. This question is not one the State Treasurer can solve. But Vermont already has a very low carbon footprint, and by nature, many Vermonters are extremely careful about how much carbon fuel they use. Climate change is real, we need to do whatever we can to help control.
Do you support a paid family leave insurance program funded by a mandatory payroll tax?
No. This is not an issue the Treasurer can solve. Personally I feel this is a program that will attract young people to come to our state, but it should be paid by the self-funded insurance plan, not by a mandatory payroll tax.
Do you support the creation of a legal market for marijuana?
The police, the health care community, many teachers, and others opposed the legalization of marijuana. We are already a state with too many drug problems. More education needed in getting the public to understand the dangers of increasing access to marijuana.
What steps should the state take to prevent further Covid-19 outbreaks?
Vermont is already doing very well In controlling the spread of this virus, compared to other states. What is needed? More hand washing. More mask-wearing. Stay 6 feet or more apart. Limit out of state travel. And most of all, we need a vaccination.
What would you propose to improve the state's economic recovery during the pandemic?
We should be using this time to better educate our workers so they will be better prepared when they are able to return to work. This is a good time to repair our roads, improve electronic communication. And we need to save our dairy industry.
Is the state doing enough to protect students and staff returning to school? What additional steps would you support?
We are not doing enough to protect everyone. Most of all, we need a vaccine. There needs to be more overall education on how to limit the spread of the virus.
Do you believe systemic racism is a problem the Legislature needs to address? If so, how?
Yes, I have worked against racism my entire adult life. As a legislator, I worked hard to finally get Vermont’s native people (our most numerous minority ) recognized and given rights others already had. More education, as with many things, will help in eliminating racism.
Do you believe Vermont’s police forces are in need to reform? If so, what changes would you push for?
This is not an issue the Treasurer can solve. For now, the only change I would make in the police force is to require them to wear cameras.
Do you believe the criminal justice system should be reformed? If so, how?
I would strongly encourage a more results-oriented reduction in drug abuse.
How would you propose to expand broadband access in rural Vermont?
Providers need to share the cost with the state. Some of the federal recovery money should be used in expanding broadband.
Is climate change a major concern? What should the state do to stem carbon emissions?
Yes, climate change is a major concern. Where possible electric travel vehicles should be used. Broadband needs to be expanded, so less travel is needed for work and school.
Are the state's SNAP programs sufficient? How would you ensure Vermonters have access to food during the pandemic?
SNAP programs are not adequate. We know that from observations of the families who come to get food from giveaway facilities during this pandemic. We need to continue to support local food shelves, Soup kitchens, and school free food programs. While we are feeding people, skill and education programs need to be offered so heads of household can acquire the necessary job skills to support themselves.
How would you make Vermont a more attractive and affordable place to live?
We are all so fortunate to live in this beautiful place. Let’s take care of it. Cherish our resources. Teach our children about the Vermonters who lived here before them, and about the value of working the land. Lower taxes, allow local municipalities more say in decisions, follow state investments carefully, allow free tuition grade 13-16 education at Vermont state colleges. Do as much good as you can.
What Does The Treasurer Do?
The State Treasurer's Office is responsible for a wide range of administrative and service duties:
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