Recently I've been hearing our state legislators in a quandary over lost revenue due to the coronavirus. My guess is they'll coerce you into thinking that all the social programs and education needs will be drastically slashed if we don't pass marijuana and prostitution legalization in bills like S54. Yes, that's right both bills are on the agenda this session. Are we really that desperate to put more Vermonters at risk or legislatively lazy to set limits on our spending? Our higher education is in trouble they say. I say why does Vermont have one of the highest tuitions for state schools in the country? UVM already has a substantial endowment fund and had the audacity to apply for federal COVID funds. I say our young citizens can make a handsome living doing professional construction jobs. Vermont needs entrepreneurs not four-year degreed graduates that live with mom and dad until their thirty and swamped with debt. Have you recently had a front door replaced or a roof put on your house or had to call an electrician or plumber? Let's put money into "shovel ready" education such as vocational schools. It has a better return for the money. And when the dollar collapses because of all the money were printing out of thin air, those kinds of jobs will help us survive.

Instead of passing a bill to paint BLM on State street why can't we pass a bipartition bill to preserve Vermont natural resources from exploitation from foreign countries, especially China. Only a handful of states limit acquisition of natural resources from foreign entities. In a time when we are complaining that China is threatening to hold back pharmaceutical drugs and PPE, it's a no brainer. Do we want to end up like Nevada that sold thousands of acres to China so they can build solar panel farms to sell us electricity from our own land? Or do we want to end up like Maine who sold thousands of timberland acreage to China so they can make a killing on the plywood needed to cover our storefronts during our "social justice" riots? This is globalism at its worst. To satisfy our deficit spending, are our senators and governor going to sell off our resources to a point where are grandkids will no longer own the land that they grew up on? We need our state legislature to think long-term smart, not short-term stupid. That being said, I commend all of our representatives who strive to do their very best with overwhelmingly tough choices that need to be made in the future.

Democrat/Progressive incumbents are stuck in a rut, not recognizing their own failed policies. I remember a homegrown Vermonter telling me that if I relocate to Vermont from the "city" that I'll finally see snow that isn't dirty. The connotation being that Vermonters take care of the environment. What I realized is that heavily populated states out of necessity must put into place legislative infrastructure policies that work to protect the environment while sparsely populated states tolerate the pollution because it's such a small percentage of a naturally "clean" state. Thirty years ago, Champlain beaches used to close because of fecal contamination from inadequate capacity in our sewage plants. Now a days I find my grandkids dealing with the same beach closures for the same reasons a generation later. H926 a supposedly "green" bill makes that situation worse. New revenue streams ie: marijuana and prostitution, don't fix flawed incumbent priorities and is personally very insulting.

Stop allocating money for electric trucks and buses that become useless during the winter months because the batteries can't hold a charge in cold weather. Save those purchases for Arizona! Placating the climate activists may get you elected but there are better choices we can make instead of passing H688, the global warming solutions act. China's fentanyl is killing Vermonters, we don't need pot and prostitution to grease the skids for the former. Please senators and representatives I challenge you to use your time wisely and pass legislation that means something to the future of our state and our next generation. During the sixties the progressives that rioted in the streets of our metropolitan cities found refuge in Vermont. Once a Republican stronghold state is now spawning disciples of Brooklyn born Bernie Sanders. Once a robust agricultural economy, Vermont acquiesced to a service economy, and our top employers being tourism and health care service jobs that lay vulnerable to collapse from a pandemic mandate that is closing our once proud family run stores and restaurants. Progressives do a great job in reallocating assets for social justice causes but are anemic on revenue generation from entrepreneurship, hence the default of raising revenue from marijuana and prostitution, sales and social security benefit taxes. Is that the culture we want for our elderly and next generation? I guess the republicans of yesteryear saw the handwriting on the wall and left the state. Maybe that's why our children are leaving the state in droves to find those lost republicans.

Ron Coppola

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