by Charles Wilson
Authentic Vermont embodies agriculture, self-sufficiency and independence, a strong work ethic, healthy communities and families, faith and honorable values and fiscal responsibility. The super majority in the Vermont Statehouse are placing these fundamental Vermont values at risk everyday with actions and ideologies that bring harm to the people and our great state. With bills in place that promote a deeper, dependent welfare state, higher levels of taxation, and the priority of special interests over local businesses, many are choosing to leave Vermont. Our current super majority does not encourage independent, small business growth and an affordable way of life. This trajectory is not encouraging or fair for those of us who love Vermont and want to ensure that Vermont is a thriving, sustainable home both now and in the future.
We must strive to hold onto our workforce, youth and middle class and create an environment in which hard-working Vermonters can have opportunities for success. Right now, the state is attempting to collect taxes and hidden taxes in every way possible in order to fund what they believe should be the priorities. This is massive overreach and results in a dwindling workforce, struggles for families and an economy in danger. Allowing people to choose what to do with their money is fundamental to a free society, successful individuals, and a thriving economy.
The Covid Lockdown resulted in devastation and increased rates of auto accidents and suicides. Fear, anger, isolation, and insecurity prevailed and Vermont is still recovering. Supporting families and businesses in this recovery process are critical to Vermont landing on solid ground. The S.5 -UN-Affordable Heat Act bill will only add more burden and struggle for Vermonters. Even as a report, S.5 is a waste of taxpayer money and will bring another layer of insecurity and greater financial burden on top of the already rampant inflation.
At this time more than ever, the future of Vermont is at stake and We the People must work and engage in the future vision of Vermont in order to ensure its success. The super majority at the statehouse holds one version of the future that they are relentlessly forcing on Vermont. This is not how elected representation works; diversity of paths and thought must be respected and encouraged.
I have been trying every day in my committee and with my fellow legislators to bring common sense and conversations regarding the existing differences. Creating a space for individual paths and respect for these differences is paramount now. Acknowledging that none of us hold all the answers is an essential reminder. Coercion is not leadership or representation and will not serve the people of Vermont.
I have hope and do not want to appear negative yet it is difficult when I witness politicians who want to make the natural unnatural and force their version of Vermont’s future on others. I will continue to speak up every day for the rights of Vermonters and authentic Vermont. In many instances, politics has become about trying to convince people to believe in something that may not be true. I hope the super majority stops using tax payer money as their emotional high in achieving unrealistic goals that bring risk and damage. What many believe may be virtuous is in-actuality poor decision making that results in damage for all Vermonters. I hope and pray for balance to return to Vermont so that we may all thrive together in this beautiful, wonderful state we call home.
The author is a Lyndon resident, House representative for Caledonia-3, and a Republican. He sits on the Committee on Agriculture, Food Resiliency and Forestry.