Rep. Sibilia: Week 2 of the Vermont Legislative Session

Good afternoon,

The image above is the list of priorities the Rural Caucus has heard from Vermonters on and is working to address.

Various issues are beginning to emerge in this early part of the session. Act 250 reforms, climate change, housing, gun reforms as well as proposals to get rid of the Board of Education, and rumblings about the Green Mountain Care Board and the Accountable Care Organization.

One issue that is not yet seeing too much activity is the Pupil Weighting Study released on December 24th. Rep. John Gannon and I will be hosting a public information session on the study and what it says about our current funding mechanism next Saturday January 25th at 9 am at the Dover Town Hall next to the Dover Free Library. Residents from all of our towns are invited to attend.

50 Windham County VOLUNTEERS and town officials gathering on a ❄️ snowy night in Newfane #Vermont to learn how to get #ruralbroadband done. Shameful they have been put in this position and inspiring to see these #Vermonters turning out to get the job done!

Legislative Paid Family Leave Plan

A conference committee met and resolved the differences between the House and Senate Paid Family Medical Leave plans this week. On Friday the Senate voted 20-9 to pass the bill which provides up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth of a newborn, or an adoption. and allows for eight weeks of paid leave to care for an ailing child, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandparent or grandchild it does not include paid leave for personal illnesses. The legislation would be paid for with a .02 payroll tax paid for by the employee and participation is mandatory.

The bill will most likely come to the House for a vote next week where it will likely pass.

The Governor has indicated he will veto the bill – preferring his voluntary plan that has been negotiated with state employees and which was originally proposed as a two state program with New Hampshire.

I am not inclined to support this legislated new benefit paid for with a payroll tax until we figure out how to get the cost of healthcare and premiums down.

This display of public comments that were submitted to the Green Mountain Care Board – on the proposed premium increase for Vermont Health Connect – was in the Card Room today. Vermont’s healthcare plans – without a national health care solution – are unaffordable and covering less and less.

Greenhouse gas emissions report

This week my Committee on Energy and Technology heard testimony on this report on Vermont Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Articles of interest

Agency of Commerce and Community Development launches regional marketing and recruitment program

$80,000 to be Granted to Local Communities Across Vermont
Montpelier, Vt.—The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development today announced the launch of the Regional Marketing and Recruitment Grant Program. As passed by the Legislature in Act 80, the $80,000 in grant funding will support the efforts and activities of regional organizations to attract more visitors, potential residents and businesses to Vermont, helping to enhance and extend existing state marketing and recruitment initiatives.

Eligible applicants include chambers of commerce, Regional Development Corporations, young professionals’ networks, downtown organizations, municipal economic and community development departments and committees, business organizations, new neighbor organizations and other similar groups.

Grant monies can be used to support workforce, marketing or tourism-related projects through advertising, promotion, publicity, events, online resources and other activities or collateral specifically designed to provide regional information to visitors and potential new residents. Applicants must provide 1:1 matching funds in the amount of the grant request. The application deadline is February 15, 2020, with grants to be announced shortly thereafter. For full details, eligibility requirements and to submit a proposal, visit

He noted that 100 percent of refugees who resettled in Vermont during fiscal 2019 were economically self-sufficient within eight months of arrival.

The Hill, Saturday January 11, 2020 Vermont’s GOP governor reaffirms commitment to accepting new refugees after Trump order

Community-Based Public Hearings on the Governor’s Recommended FY 2021 State Budget.

The Vermont House and Senate Committees on Appropriations are seeking public input on the Governor’s Recommended FY 2021 State Budget and will hold community-based public hearings on Monday, February 10, 2020, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Barre City: Downstreet Housing and Community Development, 22 Keith Ave, Suite 100
  • Morrisville: People’s Academy High School, Auditorium, top of Copley Avenue
  • Rutland City: Rutland Public Schools, Longfellow School Building, Board Room
  • St. Johnsbury: St. Johnsbury House, main dining room, 1207 Main St.
  • St. Albans City: St. Albans City School, Library, 29 Bellows Street
  • Winooski: Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), 10 East Allen Street (follow the signs when entering the building)
  • Springfield: Springfield Town Hall, 96 Main Street, 3rd floor Conference Room(Selectmen’s Hall) [5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.]

To view the proposed budget, available after 2:00 p.m. on January 21, go to the Department of Finance and Management’s website or by clicking HERE.

For more information about the format of these events, contact Theresa Utton-Jerman or Rebecca Buck at or, or call 802-828-5767 or toll-free within Vermont at 1-800-322-5616. Written testimony can be submitted electronically to Theresa or Rebecca through e-mail or mailed to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, 115 State Street, Montpelier, VT, 05633. Requests for interpreters should be made by Monday, January 27, 2020.

Click here to monitor the bills I introduce, my committees work and my votes on roll call votes on the legislative website. You can also see what the House and Senate will be taking up each day and listen to proceedings live on VPR

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

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