Rep. Baker gears up for re-election bid

WEST RUTLAND Veteran Republican lawmaker Joe Bakers 2008 re-election campaign doesnt have a particularly complicated theme. Money and taxes, he said when asked about his top priority for the 2009-10 legislative session. People are paying too much. They should be able to keep more of the money they earn. Baker, age 49, is seeking a sixth term in the Vermont House where he represents Clarendon, Ira, Proctor and West Rutland. Born and raised in Proctor, Baker settled in West Rutland in 1984 after serving four years active duty in the Navy. He was a member of the Rutland County Solid Waste Committee and the West Rutland Board of Civil Authority, is a past commander of American Legion Post 87 and served as a West Rutland selectman for seven years. The upcoming legislature will face a variety of difficult challenges, Baker said, thanks to a weak economy, soaring gasoline and heating fuel prices and a steadily increasing tax burden. He supported legislative action to create a climate that creates new jobs by attracting new business to Vermont and encouraging existing businesses to stay and expand. We cant rely on a strictly service-oriented economy, the long time G.E. employee said. Baker said it was also crucial that the Legislature take steps to ease the tax load on Vermonters and put the brakes on state spending. I tend to be a fiscal conservative, he said. If you dont have the money, you dont spend it. Id like to see the legislature adopt that attitude.

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