Rep. Sibilia: Week 3 of the Vermont Legislative Session

Paid family leave vote tally

The House voted on both a compromise Paid Family Leave Plan (H.107) and a compromise accelerated additional Minimum Wage increase plan (S.23) that had been worked out between the House and Senate. Both proposals passed; Minimum Wage 93-54 and Paid Family Leave 89-58, but neither passed with enough votes to over ride a veto by the Governor which is expected.

I voted no on both proposals, as did several other independents, Democrats and all Republicans.

-The paid family leave proposal puts in place a new mandatory employee benefit with a mandatory payroll tax on employees. I remain deeply concerned that we have not figured out how to pay for all of the Vermonters we signed up for healthcare as part of healthcare reform efforts several years ago.

-The minimum wage proposal is appropriate in the parts of Vermont where the economy is thriving, not the parts where business owners are not able to take paychecks and others are no longer open 7 days a week for lack of people to work.

Waiting for the Senate and the Governor for the annual Governor’s Budget Address

This week Governor Scott delivered a budget address and his 2020 budget to the Vermont Legislature for consideration. The process for funding a budget starts with the Governor recommending the budget he/she needs to fund government and his/her administrative priorities in the coming year. Then the House considers the budget and its own priorities and puts forward an amended budget to the Vermont Senate. After the House and Senate work through their differences, the budget goes back to the Governor where they have the option to accept the proposed changes or veto the budget. The Legislative Session usually ends in early May, just after the House and Senate resolve their differences and send their proposed changes to the Governor. To view the proposed budget go to the Department of Finance and Management’s website HERE.

If you find areas in the budget you disagree with, or have suggestions, please see below:

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 6:30 p.m.]

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.

This week the Rural Economic Development Working Group of the Vermont House of Representatives heard from the Agency of Natural Resources and the Vermont Council on Natural Resources on their “compromise” proposal for updating Act 250 and the testimony they presented to the House Natural Resources Committee. Here is a comparison of the ANR/VNRC proposal vs the bill that the House Natural Resources Committee worked on last year. One proposed change receiving a lot of attention is the elimination of the District Commissions.

Vermont is small enough, our superpower is collaboration.

Mary Powell – Energy Leader, Small Business Owner testifying on addressing climate change and H.688

Tomorrow Saturday, January 25th at 9 am at the Dover Town Hall, Rep. Laura Sibilia, Rep. John Gannon, Rep. Carolyn Partridge and Rep. Kelly Pajala will be hosting a public discussion on Vermont’s Education financing system and how it relates to student opportunity and property taxes.

Legislators will talk about the results of the recently released “Pupil Weighting Study” and what it suggests has been happening with our schools budgets and education property taxes.

This discussion is open to all, and information on ways citizens can help improve opportunities for students and seek relief for taxpayers will be provided.  The Dover Town Hall is next to the Dover Free Library at 190 Taft Brook Road.

Public Hearing on H.668, H.669, and H.406

The House Committee on Education will hold a public hearing on H.668, an act relating to evidence-based structured literacy instruction for students in kindergarten–grade 3 and students with dyslexia and to teacher preparation programs; H.669, an act relating to evidence-based structured literacy instruction for students in kindergarten–grade 3; and H.406, an act relating to screening students for dyslexia and ensuring teachers receive training concerning dyslexia. The public hearing will take place on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room 11 of the State House.

Witnesses may begin signing up to speak at 4:00 p.m., just prior to the hearing. Witness testimony is limited to three (3) minutes per person. The Committee will also accept written testimony at Please indicate H.668, H.669 & H.406 in the subject line.

If you plan to attend and need accommodations to participate, please contact the Sergeant at Arms at 802-828-2228 by Monday, January 27, so that we can make arrangements in advance.

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

First person to read these weekly updates is TJ Sibilia who knows it means I am finished my work for the week and leaving the Statehouse to head home for the weekend. Shout out to this awesome dad and husband holding down the fort (and the college application process!) while I am serving in the legislature. See you soon guys!

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