• Rep. Maxine Grad (D)
    October 23,2006
     

    Biography
    I am 46 years old. I was born in Great Neck, New York. My husband and I have I have 3 children, ages 2, 12 and 14. We have lived in Vermont for 24 years. I have a law degree and Masters in Environmental law from Vermont Law School. I practiced law for 10 years in the public and private sector. I have served on many boards including Commission on Women, Victims Compensation Board, Friends of the Mad River, National Womenís Health Network, and Moretown and Central Vermont Regional Planning Commissions. I serve as a school and community volunteer.

    I have served in the House of Representatives for three terms. I have served as vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee for four years. I have also served on legislative committees such as Judicial Retention, Judicial Rules and Administrative Rules.

    Do you favor utility-scale wind projects in Vermont?
    Yes, if sited in the proper places. Wind is an affordable, sustainable, renewable type of energy that should be part of Vermontís energy future.

    Do you favor any restrictions on abortion in Vermont? Do you favor a parental notification law for minors who seek an abortion?
    No, I respect a womenís right to choice what is best for her health.

    No as a matter of minorís health. Family communication cannot be legislated. Parental notification laws endanger teensí health and safety. The Amertican Medcical Associaltion, Academy of Pediatrics, College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, and other medical associations oppose notification laws. Teens who donít involve parents often come from families where there is physical and/or sexual, drug and alcohol abuse.

    NO Vermont law requires parental consent for taking aspirin at school. Consent is usually required to prevent lawsuits. Vermont law allows substance abuse treatment, pregnancy care, mental heath treatment and treatment for sexually transmitted infections WITHOUT parental consent recognizing that consent could bar prompt and necessary medical attention.

    Would you vote to strengthen and expand laws that promote open access to government (internal documents, such as those recently made public as a result of media requests on the wilderness issue)?
    Yes. I would vote not only to protect Vermontís existing laws that provide for open access to government documents, but also for laws that would make it easier for citizens who are less familiar with the laws and processes to access documents and get information from state agencies.

    Do you favor shifting education funding away from the property tax to other sources? If so which, such as income tax, sales, etc.
    Yes. I would like to see education funding based on income, not property values and wealth.

    Last session, the Legislature passed Catamount Health, expanding health insurance coverage. Do you favor additional steps to improve health insurance coverage for Vermonters? What are they?
    Yes. I voted for Catamount Health as a good first step in providing health insurance and care for Vermonters. We need to now find a sustainable way to cover those Vermonters that are underinsured, have high deductibles or inadequate coverage. We need to do so in a way that does not burden businesses and is fiscally responsible.

    In some eyes Vermont is seen as having an anti-business climate (high taxes, regulation, etc.) Do you think this is true? Are there any steps you would advocate to improve Vermontís business climate?
    No, but we can do more to support businesses and economic development. Permit reform is needed. Current law is burdensome and costly for businesses.

    During the past session I voted for a number of bills that are now law and will make a real difference in supporting economic development in Vermont. The Growth Center bill allows towns to identify and plan for new homes, businesses and jobs. The Tax Increment Financing District bill provides a source of funding for growth centers. The Creative Economy bill promotes clean, safe work places by helping towns that wish to create and market clean jobs and activities. I also championed a law that gives employers access to criminal records.

    Do you believe Vermont faces a looming energy crisis and is doing all it can to address the situation? Do you favor the renewing the license of Vermont Yankee?
    Yes we are facing an energy crisis. Vermont is not doing all it can to address the situation. Vermont needs an energy policy that includes sources that are clean, affordable, renewable, and less reliant on fossil fuels. I would support a combination of renewable energy sources such as wind, biodiesal, biomass, solar, hydro, and other sources that do not contribute to global warming.

    I do not favor the relicensing of Vermont Yankee. If there was an accident at Vermont Yankee it could have tragic effects on the surrounding communities.

    Should Vermont invest more money in maintaining its highway infrastructure? If yes, where should the money come from (raising gas tax, fees, cuts in other programs, etc.)?
    Yes. We need to do more to make the funding related to consumption. I also think we should invest in rail and public transportation to take pressure off our highway infrastructure, conserve energy and protect the environment.

    The money should be related to usage. We also need to look at current revenues and spending and make the funding decisions based on sound fiscal principles.

    Are you in favor of civil confinement for criminal offenders who have finished their jail terms?
    I am in favor of continued incarceration of sex offenders who have not successfully completed their treatment or if the department of corrections determines the offender is a risk to the community. As vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee I provided leadership on the new law called the Sexual Violence Prevention Act. With the act, we now have tools to investigate these crimes using specially trained multi-disciplinary teams that will lead to more guilty pleas, less trials, and longer sentences. We also provided for longer sentences with lifetime maximums for certain sex crimes. We are now one of the toughest states in the country on sex crimes.

    Is the state doing enough to promote and diversify its keystone agricultural sector?
    No. We can do more to support our agricultural sector. I am in favor of helping farmers develop new markets, technologies, and renewable energy sources such as biomass. We also need to get property taxes under control so farmers and their families can continue to farm.

    Please tell us what your top two priorities are if elected.
    Public safety and veterans.

    I am a strong advocate for community safety. I have provided leadership on laws that protect EMS and public safety personnel, prevent and sentence sex offenders, expanded the sex offender registry, advocated for safe schools, addressed driving safety, increased employers access to criminal records and criminalized laws to protect vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect. I look forward to working with law enforcement, victimsí advocates, and EMS personnel to enhance our community safety.

    I will introduce legislation to put a curfew on junior operator licenses, except when driving is required for work. Vermont is one of the few states that doesnít have a curfew. Statistics show that accidents and fatalities decrease dramatically in states with curfews.

    I have been a strong advocate for veterans. For example, I helped establish the Purple Heart Trail and increased scholarships for Guard children. I will introduce a bill that would exempt military retirement pay from income taxes. Vermont is one of few states that does not have this benefit. This is an economic development issue. We are losing qualified workers who could contribute to our workforce and tax base.

    Property taxes and health care will be priorities as well.

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