While the first week of a new legislative biennium is filled with pomp and circumstance—the swearing in of new members, election of the speaker, appointments to standing committees and the inauguration of the governor—the next two weeks are generally spent introducing the committees to the agencies and departments they will be working with, as well as to nongovernmental stakeholders in the policy areas they will be dealing with.
We are now in the last weeks of the 2018 legislative session. Barring any surprise demands by the governor or legislators, like the call for passing a bill taxing and regulating marijuana sales that occurred last week, we should be finished by mid-May.
In 1957, three years before he was elected President, Senator John F. Kennedy wrote his best-selling book Profiles in Courage. In it he described events in the lives of eight U.S. Senators who bravely cast votes in defiance of their party and public opinion, thereby jeopardizing their chances for re-election.
Energy & Technology – The Energy & Technology Committee (E&T) on which I serve has three areas of responsibility over Vermont’s infrastructure: energy, telecommunications and information technology (IT). In the six weeks of this session, we’ve been pretty active in each of these areas.
Most people recognize that climate change is happening, that it is caused by burning fossil fuels and that it has serious environmental and health consequences. The challenge to our generation is how to counter the trend of increasing concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. The most obvious action is to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.