Monday, September 8, 2014

Dot's Restaurant in Dover, VT



FEBRUARY 10, 2014

Dear Chamber Members:

    Thank you for the opportunity to address you this morning.
    From the No-Snow crisis in January, 2007, when I began as our district representative, through this recession, to the present escalating economic inequality nationwide, I have been concerned about our economy and its effects upon our employers and employees.
    Over the years, with others, I have supported legislation promoting economic development: Telecommunications access;Tourism funding; Deerfield Valley and Windham County business initiatives; Road and bridge improvement; Production and promotion of local beer, wine and liquors; Farm-to-plate; Business loans; Workforce development; And, designation of skiing and snowboarding as the Vermont winter sports.
    Unfortunately, in our quest for prosperity we are handicapped by a dysfunctional federal government of sequester and austerity, or sequesterity. I find such an agenda harmful to businesses and employees, especially in the ‘heat and eat cuts’ to our low wage earners. Because of failure at the national level, it falls, as it has in the past, to the states to exercise leadership.
    For the last seven years I have worked to represent the interests of constituents, those in this room and the four thousand who are not present today. I have also been candid in stating I stand on issues. Before Act 3 of 2009 passed, I was a proponent of same-sex marriage. At town meetings last year I was quite clear that I would support revenue increase to improve our failing transportation infrastructure. This most recent edition of the Deerfield Valley News [Moran supports living wage bill, page 1, and Moran seeks feedback on sick leave, page 4A] demonstrates my continued transparency. 
    As Jack Deming of the Deerfield Valley News in a balanced manner addressed the living wage legislation and my letter to the editor covered the details of the paid time off bill, and being aware that other legislators are here to present to you, I will wait for questions before going into any more detail.
    The General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee, of which I am the vice chair, will take testimony on the wage bills after we receive data from our Joint Fiscal Office and our legislative economist. We have already taken extensive testimony on the time off bill and are close to voting on it in committee. As always, we will consider the interests of employer, employee and the general public as we move forward and will craft final legislation that responds to the testimony received.    
    I believe that everyone in this room and in the towns that I represent (Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro and Whitingham), wants Vermont to have a vibrant and prosperous economy, and to be known as the business and worker friendly state.
    Thank You.
    State Representative John Moran
    Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro and Whitingham

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