Opinion: Lawmakers continuing hard work

Rep. Elder and our colleagues and I have been very busy. In these legislative updates, I will highlight just a bit of what we’re working on. Remember to sign up for email updates at maricordes.org.
Bills of interest:
H.3    An act relating to ethnic and social equity studies standards for public schools
H.39  An act relating to the extension of the deadline of school district mergers required by the State Board of Education
H.51  An act relating to fossil fuel infrastructure
H.57  An act relating to preserving the right to abortion.
H.129  An act relating to a universal, publicly financed primary care program for Vermont
Bills that I am introducing:
H.175  An act relating to prohibiting utilities from using eminent domain for new fossil fuel infrastructure
With constituent input, I am also in the process of having two bills drafted that address low-income weatherization, and for a standardized voluntary statewide energy labeling process for buildings. Both bills include workforce development.
In my role on the House Health Care Committee:
We are currently taking stakeholder testimony on Association Health Plans and a state Individual Mandate, both having come about by federal rules changes that have had a destabilizing impact on health care markets.
1. I was appointed to the House Discrimination Committee.
2. In Vermont, legislators vote on the positions of UVM trustees, as well as adjutant general for the Vermont National Guard. We have recently been very actively involved in interviewing the adjutant general candidates. I encourage you to become informed about the candidates as well.
State Budget hearings:
Monday, Feb. 25, 6-7 p.m. – The House and Senate Committees on Appropriations are seeking public input on the FY2020 recommended state budget and will hold joint public hearings at 6 locations across the state: Morrisville (People’s Academy High School), Rutland City (Longfellow School Building), St. Johnsbury (St. Johnsbury House), St. Albans City (St. Albans City School), Winooski (Community College of Vermont), and Springfield (Springfield Town Hall, 5:30-6:30 p.m. for this site).
I encourage constituents to reach out to me by email or by phone, to attend our monthly forums, and to visit us in the statehouse. I am also happy to schedule time to meet with you face to face.
Because of increased security risks over the past several years for elected leaders, it has been recommended to all legislators that we have a state-issued phone number. As soon as I get that number, I will publicize it. In the meantime, you can reach me at 802-828-2228.

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