Vermont Future Caucus Relaunch
May 1, 2022
What the state lacks in young people, it makes up for in young people’s problems. Vermont is ranked No. 13 in the nation for the highest student loan debt, No. 16 for the highest child care costs, and only No. 39 for housing affordability.
What we’re doing about Vermont’s young people problem
When you think of Vermont, youth is not the first word to come to mind. The state is known as a safe haven for seniors. Vermont was recently ranked one of the fastest-aging states. Millennials, ages 26-34, make up less than 12% of the state’s population.
However, what the state lacks in young people, it makes up for in young people’s problems. Vermont is ranked No. 13 in the nation for the highest student loan debt, No. 16 for the highest child care costs, and only No. 39 for housing affordability.
As Vermont millennial state legislators, we see these problems as our problem. The ability to afford child care so that you can return to work or have a stable place to call home and build generational wealth are issues that affect all Vermonters. They’re bigger than any political party.
This is why the work of the Vermont Future Caucus is so important. Our caucus is by young people for young people. It’s where young policy leaders will create the future they need.
It focuses on bringing legislators together from across the political spectrum — Democrats, Republicans and independents — to have open and honest conversations to create future-focused solutions. The caucus believes that people can get more done when they work together rather than working against one another, especially on issues of mutual importance and benefit.
Already, Vermont legislators have passed some critical bipartisan legislation, such as H.171, which expands the eligibility of the Child Care Financial Assistance Program. In addition, bills such as H.260, an act relating to requiring menstrual hygiene products in public school restrooms for grades six through 12 and in correctional facilities, have been introduced and supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
Now, as the new co-chairs of the Vermont Future Caucus, we are eager to partner with our colleagues and build coalitions to make Vermont a state everyone, no matter their age, wants to call home. With Vermont’s housing prices rising, child care becoming less affordable, and a changing workforce that will impact our state economy and retirement planning, we can’t afford to wait.
Now is the time for intergenerational policy change.
Rep. Becca White, Hartford
Rep. Casey Toof, St. Albans City
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