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To the editor:

Open Letter to Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Legislature:

We appreciate the challenge of governing during a global pandemic. Instead of meeting with colleagues and constituents, we now rely on video chat, texts, emails, and phone calls. We are in an extraordinary time, where safety requires us to maintain physical distance from one another. We believe government is essential and applaud the efforts to adapt. We cannot allow this virus to grind the gears of government to a halt.

Even so, this is not the time for business as usual, especially for the Vermonters we represent. Although state leaders have strived to keep engagement up between the citizens, committees and the Administration, the 2020 session provided many examples showing major challenges to gathering necessary data and testimony to craft quality policies. The organizations listed below represent hundreds of thousands of working Vermonters. We ask that our elected leaders of all political parties focus on the most immediate task at hand this legislative session and to chart a path to our economic recovery.

This starts with slowing the spread of the coronavirus, the orderly distribution of the vaccine, the support of health and safety measures, and the effort to combat a weariness that comes with isolation and “COVID fatigue.” The other primary focus of the 2021 legislative season must be our economic recovery. If we don’t collectively work together to save the businesses that power our economy, there will be many more difficult challenges in the years that follow.

In order to be environmental stewards, for us to reach goals that we all have in common such as clean air, clean water, affordable health and child care, we need to act as economic stewards. We need a vibrant economy and that means supporting Vermont businesses.

We ask that legislation focus solely on the health and safety of Vermonters, must-pass state bills/budgets, and our economic recovery. The business community looks forward to working with you on this effort.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Agri-Mark

Associated General Contractors of Vermont

Associated Industries of Vermont

Barre Granite Association

Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Green Mountain Slate Quarriers Association

Lake Champlain Chamber

National Federation of Independent Business

Vermont Association of Broadcasters

Vermont Association of Realtors®

Vermont Association of Snow Travelers

Vermont Bankers Association

Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Vermont Farm Bureau

Vermont Forest Products Association

Vermont Fuel Dealers Association

Vermont Groundwater Association

Vermont Retail & Grocers Association

Vermont Ski Areas Association

Vermont Traditions Coalition

Vermont Truck & Bus Association

Vermont Vehicle and Automotive Distributors Association

Dec. 28

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Since COVID-19 makes it difficult to convene Coffees with the President, if you have a question or a comment about The Eagle, send it to company President Fredric D. Rutberg at frutberg@berkshireeagle.com