Thomas Chittenden

Thomas Chittenden

Now that H.926, an act relating to changes to Act 250, has been vetoed by the governor, what should the Senate do next? What reform of Vermont’s land use laws and regulations, if any, is still needed?

"We need to try again. We need to modernize and reform this 50-year-old law to meet the needs of today. We need to eliminate redundant regulation repelling investment from our downtowns and we need to allow on-the-record review to reduce the unnecessary costs on new development in this state.

"New development upgrades our infrastructure with greener facilities, improves our quality of life and boosts our economy."

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that access to the internet is now a near necessity for school and work. What can the Senate do to provide increased broadband access to rural and low-income Vermonters? 

"Integrated planning for infrastructure enhancements. We need our roads, power lines, stormwater, sewer and emergency land-use planning to entwine and align with our broadband access improvements across the state.

"One-hundred years ago we used public-private partnerships to get electricity to every corner of the state; it's time to do the same for broadband."

How can the state government make housing in Chittenden County, and across the state, more affordable? 

"1. Make it easier & less expensive to build more houses by streamlining regulations like Act 250

2. Reduce our spending through regionalizing our services to achieve better outcomes at lower costs through economies of scale

3. Grow our tax base by inviting more people, investment and economic activity to our state."

S.54, an act that proposes a system for the regulation and sale of cannabis in Vermont, currently sits on the governor's desk awaiting approval. Did you vote, or would you have voted for the bill? Please explain. 

"I would have supported this bill, but with additional restrictions against any form of judgement affecting commercialized edibles.

"You can buy Rum and you can buy cake, but you can’t buy Rumcake that will get you drunk. The same regulatory lens is necessary for THC. I do not object to artisan edibles at ‘eateries’ where they are consumed on site (like ‘jello shots’) but any type of packaged edibles with a shelf life introduce a variety of safety concerns that compel me to be adamantly against commercialized edibles."

Other than the four issues asked about here, what else do you think is a priority for the legislature to address and why?

"Our cars are getting increasingly "smart' — we need our roads to keep up.  With the prospect of self-driving cars on the horizon, we need to be aligning our transportation infrastructure for the increased demand that technological advancement will bring. 

"We need smart traffic signaling, variable speed limits (dynamically adjusting in real time based on weather & visibility conditions) and facilities that inspire people to use mass transit."

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