I’m a morning person. Waking before the sun comes up to cherish a few precious moments of calm. I spend time with all the anxious thoughts one has during these troubled times, but then I try to spend time with just the silence around me. Try is the key word. Some days it works, some days not so much. But this morning routine, to just be in the moment, energizes me for the day ahead. I hope you each have a special way to energize yourself, to take care of yourself, as we move forward in both uncertainty and with opportunity.
As always please reach out to myself or Rep. Dolan on any issues. Rep. Lori Houghton (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rep. Karen Dolan (email@example.com).
VERMONT HEALTH CONNECT OPEN ENROLLMENT – FINANCIAL HELP AVAILABLE!
Increased subsidies for health insurance through Vermont Health Connect may save enrollees real dollars on their premiums. Vermonters in single plans may now qualify for tax credits with incomes up to $105,771 in 2022. Vermonters in family plans may qualify with incomes up to $297,216 in 2022. If you purchase health insurance direct from BCBS or MVP or Vermont Health Connect or currently do not have health insurance, I encourage you to contact them to see if you qualify. This year, an extension will also allow Vermonters to sign up between December 16, 2021 - January 15, 2022 for insurance that begins Feb 1, 2022.
For more information visit the link below or call 1-855-899-9600
PUBLIC HEARING ON THE GOVERNOR’S RECOMMENDED FY2022 BUDGET ADJUSTMENT
The Vermont House Committee on Appropriations will hold a public hearing on Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in Room 24 of the State House (limited seating) and via videoconference (preferred).
The Governor’s recommended budget adjustment can be found at this link: https://ljfo.vermont.gov/subjects/appropriations-and-budget/fy-2022
Anyone interested in testifying should sign up in advance of the hearing through the following online form no later than noon on January 5th, 2022: https://legislature.vermont.gov/links/fy22-budget-adjustment-hearing
Instructions on how to access and participate in the hearing will be sent once you have signed up for the hearing. Written testimony is encouraged and can be submitted electronically to Theresa through e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the House Committee on Appropriations, c/o Theresa Utton-Jerman, 133 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05633.
The public hearings will be available to watch live on YouTube at the following link:
If your family could use some help getting food right now, please click the link below to get information about food programs, and who to call if you have questions.
HOMEOWNER’S ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Homeowner Assistance Program will use $50 million of funds granted under the American Rescue Plan Act to help Vermont’s homeowners pay for past due mortgages, utilities, property taxes, and homeowner association fees. VHFA has been working diligently with the federal government and local partners to build this program. The hope is to have approval to roll out in January.
Until then, please visit this link: https://vermonthap.vhfa.org/ to see if you will qualify for assistance and to register to be notified once the program opens. This program is designed to provide one-time assistance. Those seeking assistance can also discuss their options prior to applying with a state HUD-approved housing counselor; listing found here: https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=VT#searchArea
LEGISLATIVE STUDY COMMITTEE/TASK FORCE ON YOUTUBE
If you are interested in following any of the off-session legislative committee meetings, you can easily do so through the link below. Remember that because we end the livestream during breaks and start a new one, most meetings have multiple videos to them. These are indicated with a “-01, -02, -03” at the end of the file name.
ESSEX DELEGATION COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Please join us during the legislative session for monthly updates on bills, committee work, caucus actvities and more. We welcome your concerns, questions and a spirit of open, respectful dialogue. Our next conversation will be Sunday January 23rd from 2 to 3:30pm. A zoom link will be accessible on Front Porch Forum, Facebook and via email a few days before the date.