ISSUES

STRENGTHENING VERMONT'S ECONOMY

Thanks to our congressional delegation, and especially to Senator Leahy, an unprecedented amount of federal money has come into our state enabling us to make transformational investments. 

When it comes to strengthening Vermont’s economy, we must address our state’s critical shortages in housing, broadband, and childcare. 

To attract new families to our state, and ensure that every Vermonter has the opportunity to succeed, our work on housing, broadband, and childcare must work in unison. If we build more housing but can’t provide access to high-speed internet, we won’t be able to attract new Vermonters to our state. And even if we build more housing and expand broadband access, we won’t be able to attract new families to our state without access to affordable childcare.

When it comes to housing, broadband, and childcare, we can’t succeed economically without all three. These three challenges are absolutely essential to ensuring that every Vermonter has the resources to thrive.

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HOUSING

Vermont’s housing crisis is one of our greatest challenges, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. From rental units to single-family homes, this crisis affects everyone.

Thanks to federal funds secured by our state’s congressional delegation, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn the tide. As Lieutenant Governor, you can count on me to make certain these federal dollars are used wisely to build affordable housing, weatherize homes, and make homeownership possible for young Vermonters. I will work to address Vermont’s housing shortage at all levels including emergency, transitional, and permanent affordable housing. 

 

Addressing our housing challenges is central to moving our state forward and ensuring that every Vermonter can live a safe, healthy life. Without sufficient housing, we can’t attract new Vermonters or keep our young people from leaving the state.

BROADBAND

As a former public school teacher of 14 years, I was heartbroken to hear of students sitting in parking lots at malls and libraries in order to access the internet when schools were closed during the pandemic. It is past time that we establish broadband in every corner of the state, with no part of any community left behind. Just like electricity, every Vermonter should have access to high-speed internet.

We must invest in broadband buildouts that are part of a strategic plan to ultimately serve all households. Communications Union Districts across the state have more than 200 member towns covering the vast majority of the unserved areas of the state and are made up of more than 400 volunteer board members. Good things have always happened when Vermont communities have come together using the passion and creativity of local volunteers, and we must harness that passion to ensure that every Vermonter has access to high-speed internet.

CHILDCARE

Vermont’s childcare system has been pushed to the brink, and the lack of affordable, available childcare has increased the pressure on Vermont families. This has kept thousands of Vermonters out of the workforce. We know that women have been hit hardest by this crisis. 

Funding for childcare is going to take the work and expertise of all stakeholders to find a sustainable path forward. Legislators on both sides of the aisle and members of Vermont’s private sector must come together. I will work with everyone to get the job done. We must get this right.

CLIMATE ACTION

Vermonters are already feeling the effects of climate change - personally and financially. 

As Chair of House Appropriations, I supported funding in the state budget for weatherization projects, electrification initiatives, and clean transportation. I was instrumental in ushering the Global Warming Solutions Act through the legislature. 

As Lieutenant Governor, I will strongly advocate for legislation that makes Vermont a leader in fighting the climate crisis. Climate change is the most serious threat that we have ever faced, but it is also an opportunity to create good-paying jobs through a climate workforce that will help Vermont’s economy. We must move away from fossil fuels, invest in renewable energy sources, including electric vehicles and appliances, and build needed infrastructure to adapt to the changing climate.

REPRODUCTIVE LIBERTIES

Like many of you, I’m horrified by the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. 

This decision is an overt assault on women’s rights and American liberties. This decision, made by a select few, will harm women across the country, particularly our most vulnerable. It will push America back into the Dark Ages, stripping women of their reproductive liberties and forcing them to seek unsafe abortion procedures. The choice of whether to have a child is an extremely private and emotional decision to be made between an individual and their health care provider.

As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll defend reproductive liberty and every individual’s right to determine their own life’s course. You can count on me to push for policies that support women, children, and families. 

With so much at stake, we must protect the reproductive rights of every Vermonter by supporting Proposition 5 at the ballot box in November.

GUN SAFETY

What happened in Uvalde shook me to my core. Not just because children were slaughtered in their classrooms but because these needless acts keep happening again and again. Enough is enough. 

We need gun safety reform now. As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll be a strong voice in Montpelier for common-sense gun safety reforms, including safe firearm storage, eliminating the sale of ghost guns, an instituted waiting period for gun purchases, and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. I’ll work with anyone to pass these overdue reforms and help save innocent lives. We must have the courage to put an end to this senseless violence.

PAID FAMILY LEAVE

Every family knows just how important paid family leave is. 

I served in the Legislature when paid leave passed both the House and Senate, though the bill was ultimately vetoed by the Governor. As Lieutenant Governor, I will use the office to work with policymakers, stakeholders, and the administration to get everyone on board to move this important initiative forward to support our Vermont families.

No Vermonter should have to choose between a paycheck or caring for a loved one or a newborn.

COVID-19

Early on, Vermont stood out as an early national leader in its response to COVID-19, and I fully appreciate the good work that the Scott administration has done. However, we must remain vigilant and prevent this virus from threatening our communities and local businesses. 

We must continue to mask, test, vaccinate, and get booster shots into the arms of Vermonters.  We have to guarantee that these life-saving resources are affordable and accessible. Especially at times when the spread of COVID-19 is high, we have to do all we can to protect ourselves and others.