Monday, September 13, 2010

Successes 2009-2010

It's been an honor serving in the Legislature. These last couple of years, I'm proud of many things we accomplished, including

ü Created jobs for welfare recipients: I initaited a successful increase of investments in programs that assist entrepreneurs who are on public assistance, at a cost of under $2,000 per job created.

ü Spurred the “Buy Local” movement: I co-authored legislation to create a Farm-to-Plate program that received national attention.

ü Passed marriage equality: Helped Vermont become the first state in the nation to legalize marriage for lesbian and gay couples, sharing my own family’s perspective in one-on-one meetings and on the floor of the House.

ü Cut my own pay: Voted for a 5% reduction in legislative pay. Legislators are paid about $10,000 per year, plus expenses, which does not include any health care benefits.

ü Authored new laws to protect children of incarcerated parents: It’s critical to remember these unintended victims of crime and punishment. I teamed up with advocacy groups to write the new legislation and get it passed.

ü Went beyond the shutdown of Vermont Yankee by supporting programs to invest in renewable energy, to help Vermont power up responsibly and economically

ü Saved millions of dollars for taxpayers: co-authored “Justice Reinvestment” laws that invest in alternatives to prison for non-violent offenders focused on saving money and reducing crime. This effort continues to yield more savings and is part of a continued effort to focus on reserving prisons primarily for people who we’re scared of, not people we’re mad at.

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