Rap from the Rep: A Message from Rep. Mark Woodward

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Rap from the Rep: A Message from Rep. Mark Woodward

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This has been an exciting week at the State House. In my ten years as the Rep from Johnson and Eden I have never witnessed such a large turnout of Vermont State College students. As a JSC alumni myself, I have to admit we had by far the best showing. Well done JSC! It is this kind of action that influences legislation.

I need your help to change other representatives’ minds when it comes to increasing funding  for Vermont State Colleges.  If the seven thousand state college students each called their representative, and asked their parents and relatives to call, I am convinced we would find the will power to raise the dollars to fund higher education properly. Please take the time to call 828-2228, the Sergeant at Arms for the State House, and leave a message asking your Representative to increase funding to state colleges. It is very important that you identify yourself and the town you live in.

The time is now, because the House Appropriations Committee is building the budget for 2013.  I can’t stress enough that your voice matters. In the last election several House elections were decided by less than ten votes, two of them by one single vote. After each election I ask the town clerk for the names of every constituent that voted. I regret to say that young people are typically underrepresented at the voting booth.

On other fronts, my work in the Healthcare Committee is progressing toward bringing Vermont closer to universal healthcare for all our residents. This task is a multi year project with a target date of 2017.

More locally, I’ve been very active in working on legislative redistricting. Every ten years we are constitutionally mandated to create a new map of legislative districts that allow for equal representation in the  legislature. My district of Johnson and Eden has grown too large to be kept together. Unfortunately the bill that passed the House, without my vote, split Eden down Route 100. I strongly feel that no small town should be carved up in this way. I’m working with Speaker of the House Smith and Senator Westman to see if this can be corrected in the Senate. It is an uphill climb, as the bill that passed the house did so on a 138 to 4 vote.

Please feel free to contact me at 635-7166 or at mwoodward@leg.state.us if I can be of help or if you plan to come to the state house.

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