Report from the Legislature – December 15, 2022

I cry every time I hear the Vermont state song — and I love the part about looking with pride on the golden dome.

Chea Waters Evans, Representative-Elect
Chea Waters Evans, Representative-Elect

So, it’s been an honor and a thrill to go to work underneath that dome; training for new legislators took place a couple weeks ago, and as January and the start of the next biennium approaches, my work as your new representative in the Statehouse is beginning in earnest.

Legislative training, which was run by the Snelling Center for Government, was enlightening and fun and involved an intense barrage of information and a lot of coffee.

We sat in the House chamber (so exciting!) and committee rooms and learned about everything from parking to tax revenue to ethics to how to introduce a bill. Over four days, we met with and heard from people in the Office of Racial Equity, the Joint Fiscal Office, Legislative Counsel, the Vermont Supreme Court justices and more, and got to watch a mock debate on the House floor.

The energy and enthusiasm of my new colleagues is inspiring — no matter your political views, or your views on politicians, I think it’s truly a group of people who are dedicated to doing their best to improve the lives of Vermonters. I feel the same, and I’m passionate about helping to make our state and our town be the best they can be for young people, families and seniors as well.

This is the largest group of new legislators Vermont’s ever had; about a third of the House is new and same for the Senate. Every representative is assigned a committee, which is where most of my daily work will focus.

We don’t find out our committee assignments until the session begins, when we get sworn in on Jan. 4. Until then I’m just reading everything I can, watching past House sessions (which are actually available for everyone to watch on YouTube, and are really interesting and informative) and shopping for real pants. It turns out that working from home as a journalist during a pandemic doesn’t translate well, fashion-wise, to state government.

I want to thank you all for your confidence in me, and I’m so appreciative of everyone who voted in November. And speaking of elections, there are several opportunities to run for office or join a committee right here in Charlotte.

One more note:
Winter is here in earnest, and heating a home is expensive. Button Up Vermont offers some rebates that will help finance weatherization and lower your heating bills in the coming months. Check it out here:

As the session progresses, I’ll keep you updated on my own work on behalf of Charlotte and Hinesburg residents, as well as legislative priorities in general. I always want to hear what you have to say, and I’m here to help if you need it — if I can’t help solve your problem on my own, I’m here to figure out who can. Here’s my email and my phone number is 917-887-8231; you can call or text any time.