Bennington Audience Questions - Rights and Democracy

Bennington Audience Questions

Below this full list of audience questions is a survey which has been shared with the candidates so they can directly respond directly to them on the site.  We will post candidates answers on this list as they come in. Please do not answer the questions yourself (it will be deleted) as they are for the candidates to provide their responses.

QUESTION 1: State workers have been expected to do more with less. The truth is, you can only do less with less. State budgets should not take away from employees or programs because they did not fund or achieve goals of revenue intake. How do you fix this? 

QUESTION 2:(Gabriel White - Bennington) With regard to Act 46 consolidation, are you aware of the difficulties our community has been experiencing in its attempt to find a path forward that is equitable for all student currently in the SVSU system? The situation has become quite divisive. At first the BSD board threatened to secede from the SVSU but just this past week reconsidered. It still could be a possibility, however, if the Act 46 Study Committee dissolves, some town currently in the SVSU may choose to merge with other districts. There are many, like myself, who feel this course of action is not in the best interests of all students collectively. If Bennington, North Bennington, Shaftsbury, Woodford, and Pownal fail to unify we will be let with a socio-economically segregated school system. What resources or pressure can the state bring to bear on the local situation to prevent this injustice from occurring? 

QUESTION 3: (Mary Gerisch - Bennington) One of the big issues the legislature is dealing with this term is the classification of independent contractors and employees, which is being tackled in H 867. Can you discuss your thoughts about how the legislature is handling this issue, and whether you think it should be easier or harder for a worker to be classified as an independent contractor? And as a follow up, can you speak generally about structural changes in employment relationships? 

QUESTION 4: What would you do in the long run to protect Vermonters, and specifically, what will you do if elected, to support people who are dealing with water contamination?  Do you support construction of municipal water system for all those people in North Bennington and Pownal with contaminated wells?  Would you be willing to sue St-Gobain if they don’t pay?

QUESTION 5: What is your plan to get corporate money out of politics?

QUESTION 6: Would you be able to stop the public service board from using eminent domain to take land for the VT gas pipeline and reform the PSB?

QUESTION 7: (Patrick Monroe - Manchester) Vermont education costs are the highest in the country.  What should the state do? Act 46 clearly doesn’t work. 

QUESTION 8: What is your opinion of the system of Super Delegates in the DNC?

QUESTION 9: I recently increased my hours at a professional position from 25 hours to 30 hours per week, making me benefit-eligible.  I was appalled to find while my income increased and I earned vacation and sick days, I also lost $9,000/year in healthcare subsidy creating a loss of pay rate of $2/hour.  I would be better off, economically, working without benefits!  How can we made this benefit cliff disappear?  Universal Healthcare? 

QUESTION 10: (Bob Anderson - Bethel) Do you feel that industrial scale wind projects are right for Vermont? 

QUESTION 11: Bennington has one of the two highest rates of poverty in VT Bennington has one of the two highest income disparities in VT.  My clients, who live in poverty, have very high rates of homelessness very poor health and NO medical homes.  What will you do to address issues of poverty, despite the low voting rate in this population, because poverty affects us ALL?

QUESTION 12: Mr. Galbraith- I applaud your priorities and want to vote for you, BUT you seem to have a reputation for burning bridges in Montpelier.  How will you turn this around if you are elected?

QUESTION 13: Do you believe that businesses will better succeed if people have more money to spend, and how will you go about setting up this picture of success?

QUESTION 14: (Ed Connelloy - Shaftsbury) How can we get back to a state balanced budget including paying off state debt? 

QUESTION 15: (Michael Stern - Bennington) Do you support legalization of cannabis? Why cant we just accept that we are being driven by policies crafted by Nixon to impose his white republican values on the supporters of civil rights anti-war and hippies? On what side are you? Fear based reactions or science-based dialogues that can benefit all Vermonters?

State workers have been expected to do more with less. The truth is, you can only do less with less. State budgets should not take away from employees or programs because they did not fund or achieve goals of revenue intake. How do you fix this?

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