The House adjourned Friday evening after an extended session trying to manage the fallout of COVID-19. This has been an extremely challenging time for Vermonters, and I know many Essex residents have faced hardships. Over the past several months the House moved nearly $1 billion worth of federal aid to Vermont communities and organizations. Unfortunately federal rules prohibited many of the direct to Vermont consumer programs we attempted to fund. Below is a sample list of organizations and programs that will receive this needed funding:
Our healthcare and economic emergencies are not the only emergencies we must address. Vermonters care deeply about justice and equality, and in this time of national outcry for racial justice I am hearing this loudly and clearly from Vermonters. To dismantle systemic racism and centuries of oppression, we must work both individually to educate ourselves and collectively to transform institutions - every Vermonter has an important role in this. Likewise in the Legislature, addressing systemic racism falls within the jurisdiction of every single committee in this body, and we are eyeing our past, present and future policymaking using this expansive lens. Friday we passed S219 - addressing racial bias and excessive use of force by law enforcement. This one single bill will never be a cure-all for systemic racism, but it is the first of many steps that must be taken methodically and continually.
Although the legislative body has recessed until August 25th, our work is not done. I will continue working this summer to ensure our neighbors, businesses, and workers have the resources they need. Do not hesitate to contact either of me. I’m available at Houghton.firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-373-0599.