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No easy way out

•Let's turn the current challenge into an opportunity to make state government more efficient. What services should we provide and what services we can actually afford? We have roughly 8,000 state employees. Reducing the size of government by 100 positions would save the taxpayers $6.5 million.

I am not advocating a wholesale round of layoffs, but it seems as though every sector of our economy is adjusting, realigning and retooling, with the exception of government. Just like the private sector, state government needs to do more with less.

•Be wary of looking toward Washington to bail us out. Again, this is quick fix buck passing. We must remember that there is no state money. There is no federal money. It is all taxpayers' money. And unlike Vermont - where we maintain a balanced budget - the federal government is living on credit, and our kids will have to pick up that tab.

In closing, I think Gov. Jim Douglas' Economic Growth Plan contains a number of innovative common-sense proposals that can prove realistic, attainable and effective. I sincerely hope that members of the new Legislature will be able to put aside partisan and personal concerns and give his plan the serious consideration it deserves.

To contact Vermont Rep. Rick Hube email: huberick@sover.net; telephone: 802-824-5052; U.S. Mail: P.O. Box 93, South Londonderry, Vt. 05155.

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