It is very apparent by now that climate change is happening both locally and globally with rising average temperatures and devastating effects, including extraordinary wildfires
On Tuesday, Jan. 4, the Legislature returned to Montpelier in person for the second half of the biennium.
Although it’s been only two years, it seems a lifetime ago that we first heard of the SARS-CO-V2 coronavirus, a.k.a. COVID-19.
When the Legislature adjourned in May, it allowed for a brief return to consider any legislation Governor Scott might…
The Vermont legislature wrapped up a historic session that took place 100% remotely from January 6 to May 21.
As I write this, the Vermont legislature is nearing the end of the session – we hope! Several bills passed both chambers, House and Senate, in the last two weeks and have been sent to the Governor for his signature.
The following will be read on the floor of the House on Friday, May 14, when the session begins at 9:30 a.m.
The announcement in January by State Treasurer Beth Pearce that the state pension funds for teachers and state employees were grossly underfunded and that action had to be taken to make the plans sustainable alarmed all Vermonters, but most especially teachers and state employees who are counting on those funds for their retirement.
Over the weekend, I was able to watch a Zoom broadcast of a “Bridging” ceremony for my grandson Guthrie and his Cub Scout den. The ceremony marks the passage of a Webelos Cub Scout to a Boy Scout troop (Scouts BSA).
As the Legislature prepared to recess for town meeting week, the focus continued to be on our number one priority: Vermonters and the coronavirus.
Every two years in January a new legislature is sworn in and serves until a new legislature is sworn in two years later. During this time almost a thousand bills are introduced in the House and several hundred in the Senate. Only a hundred or so actually pass in both the House and Senate and get signed into law.
The Vermont House has worked productively in the last two weeks. We approved the annual Budget Adjustment bill (H.138), a mid-year technical adjustment to keep the state’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget in balance.
The first few weeks of a legislative biennium get off to a relatively slow start, not momentous at all. Bills are just beginning to be introduced and assigned to committees for consideration.
As the world reacted in shock to the events unfolding in Washington, D.C. on January 6, the Vermont Legislature was convening for the 2021–2022 biennium.
The Tax Commissioner’s projection of a 9% increase in property taxes last week was predictably a shock considering the economic climate we are currently in. In fact, it would be shocking even in a good year.
The Vermont Legislature returned virtually to Montpelier last week to complete the work of developing a budget for the last three quarters of fiscal year 2021. While this is our primary objective, we are not ignoring other important issues that require our attention. The pandemic continues to require making adjustments, and there are a number of issues that can’t be shunted aside while we wait for a return to “normal.”
Ever since Vermont received $1.25 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) as a result of the federal CARES Act, Governor Scott and the Legislature have been trying to decide how to allocate those funds to relieve the economic distress caused by the “stay home, stay safe” response to the virus. More than $90M was used almost immediately to help unemployed Vermonters and small businesses.
We are now two months into the societal shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it honestly feels much longer. It seems hard to remember when we nonchalantly shook hands, greeted others with hugs and pats on the back, and could see the faces of folks we encountered in a grocery store.
It’s been more than a month since Town Meeting, and oh, what a month! In past years I published the results of the Legislative Survey, which 140 Charlotters filled out this year, within a week or two of the meeting.
The unofficial slogan of the U.S. Marine Corps is “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.” When faced with the unexpected, the success of a mission requires the ability to change tactics quickly.