Rep. Sibilia: October Updates

Greetings from Goose City!

Secretary of State Jim Condos and Tom Little in Dover talking about Apportionment and the 2020 Census

This email contains information on several opportunities to engage your government and directly weigh in on state policy. Locally, Rep. John Gannon and I are hosting a legislative breakfast for businesses on November 20th and at the state level, a hearing on the needs of rural Vermont is happening on December 11th and a statewide Tourism Day is happening January 15th.

This summer and fall I’ve been LEARNING about cyber security, 5G networks, electric transmission and rural climate resilience needs and efforts. I’ve also been spending a fair amount of time on community fiber initiatives and monitoring developments in the Consolidated Communications Service Quality Investigation. Since we are expecting high winds and rain tomorrow – I expect some will lose phone service. You must report the outage, it should be fixed within 24 hours and over 24 hours you should ask for a bill credit. I really want to hear from you if your landline phone service or Consolidated DSL goes down.

Congratulations to the Twin Valley Boys Soccer Team for advancing to the State Championship game where they will play southern Vermont rival Arlington. Game is Saturday November 2nd at 10 am in Bellows Falls!

I am starting to hear about proposed storm water regulations and the implementation of Act 173. This has been coming to me informally. The best way to let me know if you need help is email me at detailing what the problem is and how you have tried to resolve it. That is the fastest way for me to accurately communicate your situation with those who may be able to help or who need to know there is a problem.

So fortunate today to witness Dover’s Kerry McDonald-Cady being sworn in as a new Superior Court Judge by Governor Scott. Many spoke to her work on behalf of children and families as a Deputy States Attorney.

This Land: The Changing Story of Rural Vermont

Last week I participated in a discussion about whether elected officials understand the challenges facing rural Vermonters with Windham County Senator Becca Balint and Franklin County Senator Randy Brock. Listen here

Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS have released the full results of a joint statewide poll that explores Vermonters’ assessment of life in rural Vermont today and prospects for the future. 

The Rural Life Survey was conducted from August 26 – September 9, 2019 by Braun Research under the direction of Rich Clark, professor of political science at Castleton University and the former director of the Castleton Polling Institute. The poll surveyed 801 people in 187 Vermont towns. The full results, methodology, and appendices are available for download.

Read more at This Land: The Changing Story of Rural Vermont,

Have you taken the Dover housing survey? The deadline has been extended till November 1.

Vermont Secretary of State 2019 Transparency Tour

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is providing training and facilitate discussion on Vermont’s transparency laws; Vermont’s Public Records Act, Open Meeting Law and the integrity and the security of our elections . Government officials at all levels, from local volunteer board and commission members, to elected officials and state employees, and interested members of the public, are invited and encouraged to attend.

All events will be held from 6-8pm. Southern Vermont dates and locations are as follows:
November 5th Rutland Free Library, Fox Room, 10 Court Street
November 13 Brattleboro Town Hall, Selectboard Room, 230 Main St

Public Meeting on Climate Legislation

The Vermont Legislature’s Climate Solutions Caucus has been working since last session developing its priorities for 2020. They want to share those priorities with Vermonters as well as hear other ideas on strategies that will grow jobs, save money and create equity. Join them and this important conversation on:
Tuesday Nov 19th, St Michael’s Episcopal in Brattleboro, 7 pm
One in a series of events statewide, this meeting will feature an open forum discussion on climate priorities for the 2020 legislative session, with leaders from the Climate Solutions Caucus and local legislators on hand to answer questions. 

My first two priories with regard to climate change action in Vermont are protecting our towns from the effects of climate change happening now (more frequent and stronger storms and outages) and ensuring our rural region is not left behind as the rest of the state telecommunications, electric and transportation systems are modernized.

Let's take a look at a real 1950 ranch house in Jericho, Vermont. The homeowners, one recently retired from the Vermont Air National Guard and one a bookkeeper at a local school district, recently completed a Zero Energy Now (ZEN) project to get their home off fossil fuels and nearly eliminate their carbon emissions. Check out EAN’s new progress report for more detail:
This image details potential cost savings from energy improvements. I’d love to hear from you if you are employing these types of solutions, or if you are having difficulty accessing these types of improvements.

Broadband news

Is your town interested in creating a local broadband solution?

Joining or forming a Communications Union District is being considered by a number of towns in rural Vermont, including in the Deerfield Valley. Join BDCC for a Communications Union District Informational Webinar on Nov 19th, 2019 from 12-1pm

Featuring Paul Giuliani, Carole Monroe (EC – Fiber) and Representative Laura Sibilia who will answer questions on what Communication Union Districts are and how they work. 

Dial-in number (US): (712) 770-3893  |    Access code: 682926#     |    Online meeting ID: svep
For more information, click here
Bennington County Informational Session
Bennington County Rep. Kathleen James and Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman are organizing an informational meeting for regional towns on forming a Communications Union District for November 8th The Park House, 340 Recreation Park Road,  Manchester Center from 6-7:30.
Clay Purvis from the Vermont Department of Public Service and Carol Monroe from EC-Fiber, Rep. Laura Sibilia will be on hand and taking questions.

Legislative Breakfast for Deerfield Valley Businesses

Join Representative Laura Sibilia and Representative John Gannon for a discussion of legislative issues of special interest to the business community. Issues that will be discussed at the breakfast include:

Minimum Wage, Paid Family Leave, Act 250, Climate Change, Tourism, Broadband, Workforce Development, Cannabis

Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Director of Government Affairs Charles Martin also will join us to discuss Tourism Day January 15th and the Vermont Chamber’s views on the upcoming legislative session. The Legislative Breakfast is free and open to the public. RSVP’s are appreciated but not necessary

Public hearing on rural Vermont December 11, 2019

The Rural Economic Development Working Group in the Vermont House has scheduled a public hearing to gather input from folks in rural Vermont on issues important to them.  The intent is to guide decisions made in the upcoming legislative session.  

The hearing is scheduled for 6-8 pm on Wednesday, December 11th at the Statehouse in Montpelier. Please let me know if you plan to attend and would like to carpool.

News of interest and photos from the district

School employee health insurance rates up 14.7%
New judge will serve in Bennington, Rutland counties
Paramedics to learn ‘groundbreaking technology’

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or

Kind regards,

Rep. Laura Sibilia
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham

Don’t forget! Sunday, November 3rd turn back the clocks

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