Letter: Bates does not vote in district's interests
To the Editor:
I am sickened by the most recent vote of my state representative! If Chris Bates had voted yes on the governor's override, Vermont would have Paid Family Leave. Let that sink in!
This law would have enabled mothers to be paid while caring for newborns, would have allowed workers to be paid while looking after sick family members, and would have made Vermont a more attractive for young families to relocate.
Prior to coming to Bennington, Chris Bates was a lifelong Republican. Although he ran as a Democrat, he has a habit of voting against initiatives supported by the Democratic Party and his constituents in Bennington 2-1.
Let me give you just a few examples:
Chris Bates voted Yes on the "Beck Amendment" to S.37, "an act relating to medical monitoring." This amendment would have weakened the medical monitoring bill so that it would be harder to hold companies liable for exposing a person to a toxic substance. Fortunately the amendment failed. I am sure this is a relief for those of his constituents who may have been affected by the PFOA contamination here.
On H.524 "an act relating to health insurance and the individual mandate," which you could think of as a state level Affordable Care Act, Chris Bates voted "nay." Thankfully it passed without his vote. This is an issue that is important to all Vermonters. You just have to look at the national scene to see that access to affordable health care is a crucial issue to every Democrat running for president.
Act 250 has served Vermont well in keeping our environment intact and preventing development that would adversely affect our state. Chris Bates has called our public and environmental review process for development "The Demise of Vermont." There is currently bipartisan support underway to reform legislation. In numerous Facebook posts, Chris Bates advocates getting rid of Act 250. It is a strange take for someone who campaigned as "the fishing politician." One would assume he would want to protect our rivers and streams. Guess not.
I think it is time we had a real Democrat representing Bennington 2-1. I want to thank state Representatives Tim Corcoran and Jim Carroll who voted in favor of Paid Family Leave and yes on the override. They are sensitive to Bennington's best interests.
The writer lives in the Bennington 2-1 district.
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