This week is the last one of the biennium and when the dust settles next week I’ll draft a comprehensive summary and reflection for you. Right now, I’m still deep in the thick of final negotiations and getting the November campaign into high gear. We’re set to wrap up with a completed budget this Friday.
Last week I was proud to receive the Democratic and Progressive nominations for State Representative. This week I found out that I have a Republican challenger in my bid for State Representative. Next week the legislature reconvenes to finish out the biennium. Biden/Harris seems to be our hope for the future. There is still a pandemic: we’re struggling with what safe school looks like for teachers and for families, so many of us are out of work, and even the smallest decisions are fraught with consequence. All to say-- there is much going on for each of us these days.
Has it really only been a week since I last wrote? In that time we’ve admitted that children aren’t returning to their school facilities, we’ve closed down non-essential travel and most of us are staying home. Simultaneously, many of us are working harder: as front-line workers, caring for family, and adapting to new systems.
Today the Speaker of the House appointed me to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
The legislature recessed last Friday to work remotely and I can't believe the speed of change since then. While working to develop responsive policy, I’m continuing to gather and share information regarding the impact COVID-19 has on our community. I’m posting daily on facebook and available via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) anytime. There are many many links at the bottom of this message for you to do your own fact finding. This post is extensive with sections on economic challenges, housing, small business, utilities, seniors, access to healthcare, schools and childcare, community response, reliable links, and some poetry. Please feel free to read top to bottom or scroll until you find what meets your needs.
At other periods in American history infrastructure was considered a public good but in the last fifty years or so we've seen a slow turn from these values and towards market solutions.
The Vermont House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in support of S54, an act relating to the regulation of cannabis.
Family Medical Leave Insurance— one of the banner bills for the democrats this biennium— is a hard fought series of compromises.
After breakfast with the kid, and before heading off to work today, I visited a middle school class to talk about climate change.
Happy New Year!
The news was dark this morning, and in the first week of the new year, I must think of it as the darkness before birth. I must look for the light within. This holiday season I revelled in my Hannukah candles, I lit candles at solstice, and Christmas, and New Years Eve, and then last night, I lit candles again. We must light the flames we want to see, right?
The session starts on Tuesday January 7th and we’re all getting ready. Packing bags, organizing calendars, and lining up final details of legislation. There is much anticipation and uncertainty about what will take flight and what bills will be ground down by the wheels of deliberation.
It’s been an incredible “off season”— so many powerful conversations about how to make Vermont work better— to be for us and by us. I’m proud to be returning, with the fire of the season in my belly and each of your stories in my heart to fight for our community.