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Viewpoint

Roadwork will help on many fronts

I see our general economy continuing to slowly improve.

There are many aspects to our economy. To choose one may not give a clear picture of what needs to be done. We need to be sure that our business tax structure is fair, balanced, and does not allow us to pay more in services than we receive in revenue. We need to expand broadband access, so that business may flourish in any part of the state.

We need to adopt health-care reform so that we take the pressure off both business and workers to afford this aspect of our lives. We need to recognize that “business-friendly” means nothing, if it is not also worker-friendly. We need to work on all of these areas. We will have legislation on each one.

If I had to pick one area most in need of improvement, it would be our road infrastructure. The condition of our roads and bridges is poor. The resources to maintain our roads have been decreasing.

Our transportation system is absolutely vital to almost all business in our state. If we cannot ship and move our goods, we cannot compete. Tourism is one of our leading industries.

Access to our tourist locations is extremely important. Tourists vote with their dollars. Poor roads will cost us more in revenue, if we do not fix them. There will be several bills dealing with transportation. Some of those bills will consider toll- and gas-tax revenues. We need to carefully assess each bill and do what is best for our state. Many of these bills will create jobs.

In the 2013 session, we walked away from several bills that would create jobs. We need to support job creation more vigorously in 2014.

Rep. Jon Manley (D-Bennington) represents Hillsborough District 3, which includes, Bennington, Greenfield and Hancock.

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