For those who have been following the media on Resolution J.R.H.1, I was asked to explain why I would not support it, and rather than letting someone else tell my story, I choose to tell it myself:
I did not co-sign the Resolution; it is not necessary to be a co-signer if one supports a Resolution or a bill, and I chose not to in this case. Also, if one did not sign onto this Resolution, it also doesn’t mean that one implicitly supports or doesn’t support the actions or words of the President. As I stated in Caucus, I could not support the accusatory, inflammatory language of the Resolution as it was written. I hoped for the time to work through the language to make it less reactionary and more accurate, as the facts become more widely known, but that was not forthcoming. An important Resolution such as this, crafted and voted on within one day of an event at the Nation’s Capitol that I condemn for its unnecessary violence, on Day 2 of the Vermont Legislative session, is not to be taken lightly or at face value. Rushing this through the Vermont House and Senate without proper investigation at a national level, without giving us at the State level time to process the information as it is coming to us, only serves to further divide Vermonters when we need to be working together on the very important business of getting Vermont back in business.
I was elected to serve the needs of my constituents, like those who have reached out to me this week asking (for instance) when they will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, when they can expect their unemployment benefits, and when they are going to get their internet connection fixed. I was elected not to legislate national politics, but to assist my neighbors in Franklin-5 and throughout Vermont in accessing their daily needs. I have a history of collaboration with all parties, and I take pride in being able to work across the aisle to achieve these common goals, asking the tough questions and getting the answers that Vermonters deserve. There will never be unanimous agreement on all issues, but a multi-party system ensures that these discussions best serve the needs of all of the people.
I have faith that, with my fellow Legislators, we will find a way past this crisis to do the work we in the Legislature were elected to do, which is to put the pandemic behind us through vaccination and the current health and safety measures and to propel the Vermont economy into post-COVID-19 recovery.
Thank you for that honor.
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