Don Turner - Affordability and Economic Growth
“The number one issue facing Vermonters is affordability and economic growth. Whether it's the cost of childcare, housing, utilities, higher education, health care, or taxes and fees, Vermonters are overburdened with an unsustainable and rising cost of living. Together, we can curb the rising cost of living and build a strong economy that sets our state on a clear path...” - Don Turner
Reigning in Taxes and Fees: For far too long, state government has perpetually raised taxes and fees to cover unsustainable rates of spending. Working with Governor Scott, we’ve been able to begin to halt this trend, and passed the first budget without raising a single tax or fee. We must hold the line on any additional taxes and fees, and put property tax reform on the table. Already overburdened Vermonters cannot afford state government to charge them more.
Housing, Health Care, and Education: In order to continue to improve housing affordability, we must make it easier to increase the supply of housing in Vermont so that prices go down. That starts with regulatory and permit reform to make it easier to create new housing units. We also have an opportunity to curb increases in health care costs through innovation and common-sense reforms. We also need to take a hard look at tort reform and opening up health care to more competition in order to bring overall system costs down. Finally, to help make higher education more accessible, we have to double-down on our efforts to make college and other forms of post-secondary education more affordable, while also partnering with our colleges and universities to ensure their financial health is sound. Most importantly our schools must be safe! We need to do more to ensure the safety of our children by increasing security.
- Focusing on All Corners of Vermont: Growth only works if it works for everyone. We must remember the needs of Burlington may differ from those of Bennington, Barton, Benson or Brattleboro. Development in our downtowns and villages must occur in tandem with rural economic growth initiatives, expansion of broadband services, and support for our farming communities.
Don Turner - Fostering Balance and Collaboration
“The role of Lieutenant Governor is to bring people together--to find common ground for common sense solutions. This means collaborating with colleagues, and appreciating the importance of balance.One party rule does not work in montpelier; we must work together so no viewpoints are left behind. Restoring balance is crucial to finding solutions that work for all.” - Don
- Open Door Policy: In an effort to be accessible to all, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office needs to be open to all. My door will always be open for any Vermonter to express their thoughts or concerns. I’ll hold weekly coffee hours during the Legislative session to meet with any Vermonters who are interested, as well as any legislators who want to stop by. An accessible government is a functional government.
- Working Together: As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll work to make sure all sides are heard. I plan to meet with Senate caucus leadership of every party--Republican, Democratic, and Progressive--every single week, in order to ensure everyone has a seat at the table and no one is left behind. To build strong relationships for collaboration, we need to talk to one another and avoid the bitter partisanship that has divided D.C.
- Achieving Consensus: Part of being Lieutenant Governor means being a consensus builder. As Minority Leader of a caucus with diverse viewpoints, I understand the value of listening to all sides, and working together to find a solution that works for everyone. I’ll bring that open-minded attitude to the job, and be committed to working with legislators of all parties on important issues so we can achieve a comprehensive solution.
Don Turner - Supporting Our First Responders and Service Members
“Our first responders--our police, firefighters, EMTs, and servicemen and women--are the true public servants. They work all hours of the day and night without question. There is no party litmus test for them to help; they’re just there, without hesitation. We have an obligation to give back to those who give so much to protect us every single day.” - Don
- First Responder Tax Credits: As a former Fire and Rescue Chief I understand how much our first responders work for our communities, so we should empower our communities to give back to them. Pennsylvania recently passed a law that allows municipalities to offer property tax credits to first responders in the community. We should adopt this approach here in Vermont, and allow our towns and cities to give back to those who already give so much.
- Tax Exemption for Military Pensions: This past legislative session, I worked with Governor Scott to bring about legislation which would have eliminated the tax on military retirement income. Unbelievably, this legislation died in committee. I’m committed to working with the Governor to reignite this important initiative and give our veterans a break.
- Discounted Licenses and Fees: Vermont currently offers free hunting and fishing licenses to our servicemen and women, as well as our veterans. We should consider expanding this exemption to all first responders, allowing police, firefighters, EMTs, and others to take advantage of this benefit.