State revenues have evaporated as key sectors of our economy have shut down. We need a new approach to funding public services. Public banks, public money, and special purpose currencies are all possibilities the state needs to consider. We need to start the budget process from what we need as Vermonters, rather than allowing the diminished pool of tax dollars to drive all our decisions.
Carbon Farming for Climate: Farmers in Vermont face their own economic disaster from COVID-19 and climate change. With a robust carbon currency, farmers could be paid for their regenerative agricultural practices. Home gardeners could be paid for growing their own organic food. This would shrink our carbon footprint and provide farmers with critical income.
Vermont needs to compensate for a long history of white patriarchal supremacy, unequal rights, and discrimination. The impacts of COVID-19 and climate change are being borne by the people who can least afford it. I support the legislative agenda of Justice for All, Migrant Justice, Green Mountain Self Advocates, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, the Movement for Black Lives, Planned Parenthood, and Vermont Works for Women.
Our schools need more support, not less, to manage the challenge of the lockdown. Parents need support, in many cases they have lost their income. Home schooling parents need to be paid for their work and have access to free teacher training if they want it.
COVID-19 has exposed the systemic weakness and inadequacies of the for-profit health care system. We need to join the rest of the world and make health care a human right. We need a public, single payer, Medicare for All system. We need to work for this on the national level to make making health care accessible for all.
Special purpose local currencies can supplement public resources to provide people with the income and services they need to survive and thrive in changing times. We need high paid, quality, jobs as well, everyone has a right to live a healthy, fulfilled life. Raising the minimum wage is necessary, but not enough.
Extending broadband with fiber optic cable to all Vermonters needs to be a priority. We will see an economic boost when people can work remotely from any location. It will allow all our children access to education, and it will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. It needs to be public infrastructure. We need to allow exceptions for the poles and lines from Act 250, and we need to formalize the CUDs so they have the mandate, the funds, and the ongoing institutional support to install and maintain it.
Cities and towns in Vermont are still dumping raw sewage in rivers when we have big storms. The runoff from city streets, manure, and lawns has made parts of Lake Champlain toxic in the summer. Industries and landfills dump wastewater sludge onto our farm fields with very little oversight. It's time we lived up to Vermont's reputation as a green state and clean up our act. We need combined sewer overflow projects, funding for agriculture, and better containment and mitigation of toxic chemicals.
We need to rethink our priorities. When police have all the riot gear, weapons, tear gas, and military hardware they need but our teachers are struggling, our hospitals are bankrupt, and we can't afford environmental protection, it's time to change. I will work to shift public spending from arms and warfare to peace, health, education, and community needs. I am in favor of removing the F-35s from Vermont.