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"It's been a rewarding honor to represent the fine folks of the Windham 4 District of Putney and Dummerston. Vermont is the best place I know to live, work, raise a family and retire in. My work is deidcated to helping keep Vermont that "best place"- and work together for Justice; Economic, Environmental and Racial/Social Justice. In that way we help bring  a better today and brighter tomorrow for  Vermonters- all Vermonters. -   Mike

End of Year Fiscal Numbers Show Vermont in Good Shape

The headline: Vermont ends fiscal year above targets.

Yes, the end-of-year fiscal numbers for Vermont are in and the numbers look good, despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those disappointed our state and the U.S. aren’t in recession.

Revenues were $39 million higher than forecast. Here and across the U.S., Bidenomics is working. Unemployment remains low. Inflation is way down.

And, especially compared to other world economies, the U.S. is in good shape and getting better.

If there’s a dark cloud on the economic landscape, it’s oil prices. Oil companies keep sticking it to us, only reinforcing our intentions and actions to divorce ourselves from this abusive relationship that dirties our air, is warming our planet and dips deeper and deeper into our pockets. They need to be held accountable and, as a start, I like the suggestion circulating that, if weather forecasters want to expand their penchant for naming every major storm, we could name some of these destructive storms after oil companies.

What we are doing, though, with the Inflation Reduction Act is starting to send out funds for infrastructure investments. That’s good reason for a bit of optimism on both the climate and economic fronts.

In-state, the investments the Legislature crafted in the FY 2024 budget are also poised to be difference makers. Investments in housing, child care and workforce investments will start paying dividends.

And, yes, flood relief and recovery will need to be added to the mix. The most recent “100-year floods” and agricultural damage from the May freeze are stark reminders that these climate events are recurring on a regular basis.

Future investments, then, would do well to include climate resiliency and mitigation for such events. For any climate deniers still out there, I will remind: Climate change is real. It’s here, and it’s time to act.

It would be great if we could go into the next legislative session in accord that these investments are needed. That our best interests are not best served by continued fealty to the oil industry. I hope so, and ask those who think climate investments aren’t needed to remember that, if you feel a hand that’s not your own dipping into your pocket, it’s the oil corporations, not government.

For reminder, just look at the price at the pump each time you fill your car or as you start to fill heating tanks for next winter.

Now, any farmer knows you get out of the soil what you put in. Just as any investor knows, you have to spend some to make some.

Investing in a cleaner, brighter future at the federal and state level will have payoffs down the road and help keep Vermont’s economic numbers in the positive. Moving away from oil dependence can provide a cleaner future for our kids and grandkids, a more stable economy not subject to the whims of oil cartels, and continued positive fiscal news for Vermont and the U.S.

Stay tuned.

Reps. Mike Mrowicki and Sara Coffey

- meeting with Putney Central School 8th Graders