Last week we shifted from committee work to a busy week on the House floor as we moved passed crossover. All of our Healthcare committee bills were passed including H230 which gives LGBTQ children a safe path to seek mental health counseling, H507 which requires specific reporting of the one year Next Generation Medicaid Pilot to ensure the legislature is kept apprised of the progress and success, and H145 which creates a Mental Health Crisis Response Commission responsible for analyzing situations that resulted in serious bodily injury or fatality between a person’s demonstrating symptoms of mental illness and law enforcement. The goal of H145 is to recommend policies, practices, and services that will encourage collaboration and increase successful interventions between law enforcement and persons acting in a manner that created reason to believe a mental health crisis was occurring.
Other bills passed include H422 that allows for removal of firearms from a person cited or arrested for domestic assault. H422 gives families and police another tool to help prevent domestic violence situations from escalating with a 5 day cooling off period. Another important bill H326 helps families on Reach up by easing the benefit cliff issues. We will continue to spend more time on the House floor as we also begin hearing testimony on Senate bills that passed over to the House.
I will admit to a big sigh of relief when the AHCA did not make it to a vote in Congress last week. The effects would have been devastating for many Vermonters. I hope now Congress will prevail with thoughtful changes to the Affordable Care Act that ensure affordability and quality for all.
The next community conversation with myself and Representative Giambatista will be Monday April 17th at 6:30pm at the Essex Senior Center located at 2 Lincoln St adjacent to the village offices. Hope to see you there or in the community soon!
Please reach out with questions or comments!