At the behest of a single citizen, Montpelier is looking at a bill that would allow Vermonters to purchase a license plate with an emoji on it. For those that aren't aware, emojis are those little circular face icons that are usually smiling, frowning, wearing goofy glasses, etc. The stated claim is that sales of the plate would bring a “revenue boon” and attract more people to Vermont. Consider this: the $26 conservation plates currently offered only bring in roughly $140,000 annually. It’s hard to imagine enough additional people would be willing to shell out for a plate with a $2 sticker on it to create a boon for anyone other than the sticker printers. And maybe I am out of touch, but who in their right mind would choose to move their life based on a license plate?
Perhaps this bill was never meant to be taken seriously. Sometimes lawmakers have to submit legislation to show their constituents that they are valued. These symbolic bills often only exist to make (usually specific) voters and donors happy. But why waste the time?
If legislators genuinely want to make their constituents happy, bring us solutions to our skyrocketing cost of living. Bring us solutions to affordable healthcare and stifling tax burdens. Bring us solutions to our faltering education system, our demographic crisis, and our billions in unfunded liabilities. I am confident in saying that most Vermonters don’t care about putting little smiley faces on their license plate. Vermonters care about putting food on their tables, gas in their tanks, and money in their savings accounts. They care about finding jobs and careers that provide more than a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. They care about being able to retire and pay off their mortgage. They care about clean water and educating their children. They care about living in a state where they can feel comfortable and safe, and where they can be part of a community.
So, Montpelier, on behalf of Vermonters everywhere, I plead with you: keep it between the buoys. As a comment on the VTDigger article states, "I really think Vermonters would rather be able to choose from multiple competing health insurance companies...How about real solutions for our real problems?"
Real solutions for real problems. Exactly. Stay focused on what we all need to create a prosperous Vermont. Then, once we get there, maybe we can justify the time to talk about cartoons.