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2014 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

May 20, 2014

The 2014 Legislative session came to a conclusion last week. At the end of each biennium I always find myself overwhelmed with emotion. Relief that my life will finally return to some sort of normalcy but also sadness realizing that I will likely never see many of the people that have earned my respect over the last two years whether we agreed on the issues or not. Working side by side with these people on some of the most important issues of our time builds an unusual bond amongst the members of the legislature. The Speaker often refers to this bond as an extension of ones family. I am truly grateful for the relationships established over the years and appreciate the incredible honor that has been bestowed upon me by Milton voters to serve our state and this community in the legislature for the last nine years.

Numerous important bills passed the legislature this biennium. I am happy to have been part of the process and proud of the legislatures work on many issues. I feel that bills passed will make positive improvements in public safety, state pension obligations, state capital improvement projects. Milton TIF districts and entitlement programs. However, I remain very concerned about issues that were essentially ignored. Issues like what it costs to live in Vermont, the uncertainty surrounding our healthcare system and the never-ending debate about how to pay for the unsustainable increases in education costs. Further, the growth in state spending over the last five years is of grave concern to me. I feel very strongly that these very important and difficult issues must be addressed soon if we want to preserve a bright future for Vermont.

One specific piece of legislation I enjoyed participating in this session was the new Milton town charter. It is good practice for communities to revisit their charter every ten years or so to ensure that they are operating in accordance with the rules the voters established. I found it rewarding to work with the Library Trustees and the SelectBoard to achieve an acceptable resolution to their differences and help avert a potentially divisive situation. As a result, the charter flew through the legislative process under the guidance of my seatmate Representative Ron Hubert.

In my tenure as a legislator, one of the things I enjoy most and find important is to recognize Milton High School teams, clubs and individuals for their accomplishments at the state level. Coordinating a trip to the Statehouse. having a resolution adopted in their honor by the legislature and then introducing the group on the floor to my colleagues is something I look forward to each year. I am proud of the things kids from Milton achieve and look forward to recognizing more and more groups each year I have the opportunity to represent this community.

It has been an honor to represent you again this biennium and I hope to continue representing you and your concerns in Montpelier in the future. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. I am very interested in hearing from you. I can be reached by cell at 373-5960 or my email address is dturner@leg.state.vt.us. My web-site address iswww.donturnerjr.com. Thank you and have a great week!

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