Each week I hear from residents who have ideas or questions on how to fix a problem, who want to know how to lend a hand to others, and who are just curious about the happenings in Montpelier. I had one of these conversations just this morning. It's these people and conversations that inspire me to dig into our policies and systems to ensure they are really helping Vermonters and that they embrace the values of our community. I welcome hearing from residents on how we can move forward as a community and state. Please feel free to reach out to me (email@example.com) or Representative Dolan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
HEALTH INSURANCE ACTION
Vermonters can now pay less for health insurance purchased through Vermont's health insurance marketplace thanks to the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Whether you are enrolled in insurance through Vermont's health insurance marketplace, Vermont Health Connect, are enrolled directly with an insurance company, or don't currently have insurance, you can learn more at https://info.healthconnect.vermont.gov/ARPA or call 1-855-899-9600. You can also join the July 28th Town Hall at noon to learn more. The link to join is on the website provided above.
Don't assume your income is too high to get help. Income eligibility thresholds are much higher now. People in single plans with incomes up to $94,500 and those in family plans with incomes up to $265,000 may qualify for financial help. Did you or someone in your household get unemployment in 2021? You may get the most help, no matter how much you make.
There's a lot more financial help now. Don't assume health insurance is too expensive just because you looked in the past. Individuals with income up to $38,000 per year and couples with income up to nearly $60,000 may qualify for plans with $0 monthly premiums. Is your income higher? Want to see your costs? Visit the Plan Comparison Tool.
The law gives extra benefits to people who were eligible for unemployment compensation in 2021. Was someone in your household eligible for regular Unemployment Compensation or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation? Extended Unemployment Compensation or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance? You may qualify for an Enhanced Silver 94 plan. These plans have the lowest out-of-pocket costs. See the Unemployment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.
ESSEX COMMUNITY RESOURCE BROCHURE
Thanks to Essex Chips, the community resource brochure originally created years ago by Bridget Meyer, Liz Subin and myself is still going strong with more resources added this year. The brochure can be found here: http://www.essexchips.org/community-brochure.
If your organization would like printed copies of the brochure to distribute, please send an email to email@example.com with how many you'd like. If you know other organizations that could benefit from receiving the brochure, please let me know.
Let's get this resource guide out into the Essex community! Please share!
ESSEX JUNCTION INDEPENDENCE
Our Village, Our Voices is a citizen-led initiative to create a vision for the future of Essex Junction. This group's purpose is to educate and inform residents about the upcoming separation vote, listen to residents for input into the vision and values Essex Junction should hold, and to get out the vote for the upcoming November vote. In our weekly legislative updates, Representative Dolan and I will be posting one of the facts from their website https://www.ourvillageourvoices.org. Have a question about the why, the process or the history? The website has a contact section for asking your questions.
QUESTION: Does the Village of Essex Junction government have the expertise and resources to become a city?
Short answer: Yes. The Village has been operating as a full service, self-governing, and self-sustaining municipality since 1893. The only hurdles for becoming a city are (1) voter approval and (2) legislative approval at the state level and its related political challenges (see the question about what happens after we vote on the charter). There are no financial, operational, or technical barriers preventing Essex Junction's transition from village to city.
For a longer answer please visit www.ourvillageourvoices.org. There are also two great events coming up to learn more. Again, check out their website under events for more information.