To the editor: Vermont legislative update from Rep. Dakin

After the first week of the 2014 session of the Vermont General Assembly, I am heartened by the budget presentation from Gov. Peter Shumlin. I support the theme of the proposed budget, which provides increased funding for education, mental health services, drug intervention and transportation, without a tax increase.

As I start my fourth year as a member of the legislature, I appreciate the faith and trust that you have placed in me to bring a seasoned temperament to the concerns that you, the voters and residents of my district, have raised with me over the years.

I intend to focus on education funding from our property taxes, particularly as we find that, even with level-funded school budgets, our education taxes are increasing. As our school boards are working hard to adopt level-funded budgets, we should not be seeing an increase in our education tax rates.

As well, I am delighted to see an increase in the proposed budget for funding for the maintenance of our bridges and roadways. Roadways in good repair are required for current needs as well as for our ability to improve our business and job growth.

As a member of the House Health Committee, I am committed to the improvement and success of the expansion of health care for all Vermonters. While our Vermont Health Connect program has had a rocky start, we are seeing improvements on a daily basis; I am confident that it will work as intended so that all Vermonters will have access to health care.

These are a few of the issues of concern to me as I represent you in Montpelier. Let me know your thoughts and concerns either by email at ldakin@leg.state.vt.us or by phone over the weekends at 802-875-3456.

Leigh Dakin
State representative
District 3-1:
Andover, Baltimore, Chester and N. Springfield

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