It was a full week with important legislation passing to the Senate including but not limited to H.293 creation of a Youth Council, H.96 creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, H.728 addressing opioid overdose response services, and money bills provided in more detail below.
Please reach out to me or Rep. Dolan with questions about this week’s actions. Rep. Lori Houghton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Rep. Karen Dolan (email@example.com).
TIME TO VOTE
All active registered voters should have received their ballot in the mail. Ballots can be returned to the ballot box at the Town Office 81 Main St before Monday April 11th or in person Tuesday April 12th from 7am to 7pm at the Essex High School. If you did not receive a ballot, contact the Town Clerk’s office, or vote in person on April 12th. Please do not rely on the mail service to return your ballot in time to be counted.
We are voting on many important articles with links to information below. I also encourage everyone to research the Trustee and School Board candidates. Essex High School SJU is hosting a school board candidate forum tonight (Sunday) from 6pm to 8pm at Uncommon Coffee in Essex. All are welcome!
ESSEX JUNCTION INDEPENDENCE UPDATE
Senate Government Operations will continue a review of the charter legislation Tuesday March 29th at 1:15 pm. The testimony can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1m7i4gqDGgM8PnVVjWc_jQ/featured
Friday the Senate appended their redistricted map to the House legislation and voted the bill out 28-0. Our House District, CHI 8-2 (soon to be CHI-22) is with the new 3 - seat Senate Chittenden-C district along with most parts of Burlington, Winooski, CHI 8-1 (soon to be CHI-23). The bill now comes back to the House for final passage.
H.740, the FY23 State of Vermont budget, passed by a roll-call vote of 135-4. The budget totals a record $8.1 billion, an increase of $231 million over FY22. Every year, we pass a balanced budget that reflects careful stewardship of our state’s financial resources, while investing in programs that reflect and bring to life our deepest values. This budget is focused on protecting the most vulnerable while striving to support all Vermonters, their families and communities. Our goal is to emerge from the pandemic a stronger and more resilient state.
Information can be found at the following links.
H.740 As Introduced
H.740 Web Report
H.740 One-Time General Fund and ARPA State Fiscal Recovery
H.736, the annual transportation bill funds the entirety of the Agency of Transportation’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It reflects increases in funding to meet the demand for infrastructure projects while drawing down the influx in federal money. This $866 million bill prioritizes improving our roads and bridges and supports local investments in safety. It funds programs to help lower- and moderate-income Vermonters buy electric or highly efficient cars and invests in EV charging equipment, safer walking and biking infrastructure, zero-fare transit, and the Mobility and Transportation Innovations Grant Program to quicken our transformation to a clean transportation system. The current investments in climate solutions are a necessary first step to advance the carbon reduction policies as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act. Vermonters can expect a busy construction season and a robust re-investment in the coming years for improved travel whether it be by car, bus, bike or foot.
H.703, a broad workforce development bill that aims to address some of Vermont’s most critical workforce needs and help the state’s workforce recover from the pandemic. The bill passed by a 139-0 roll-call vote. This omnibus bill makes significant investments to increase the capacity of Vermont’s nursing programs, increase opportunities for career and technical education, help Vermonters pay for education, and help employers connect with and retain employees. H.703 is an exciting bill that invests in our workforce across the state and across economic sectors.
ESSEX DELEGATION COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Please join us Wednesday April 13th at 6pm for updates on bills, committee work, caucus activities and more. We welcome your concerns, questions, and a spirit of open, respectful dialogue. The zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86563725077