Good evening all,
Thank you for a good start to the day today those that stopped in for coffee and discussion. One of the positive things I am seeing emerge from this terrible situation is even more access to state and local government. One of the benefits for Vermonters is ease of access to all levels of state and local government. We are all now finding ways to push through discomfort and learn how to participate in virtual meetings, meaning select boards and the legislature are providing real time access to their proceedings from the comfort of your own home. In particular, I am grateful that Governor Scott has made himself so accessible, holding frequent press conferences and taking all questions seriously and gracefully.
The legislative committee I serve on began to meet again. Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson and Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe recently wrote a piece about how the legislature will be proceeding in the short term. We are focusing on issues related to the emergency, and for our committee that means connectivity. Click here to watch videos of today’s hearings in the House Energy and Technology Committee.
Three cheers for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and the helpful information briefs their team is putting out related to government function and municipal workforce. A few are highlighted below:
- What Does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Mean for Municipalities?
- Guidance and FAQs for “Stay Home, Stay Safe”
- What Are Essential Local Government Services and Functions?
- Open Meeting Law and COVID-19 FAQs
- Open Meeting Law and COVID-19 Legislative Update
- Town Finance COVID-19 FAQs
- Town Office Closure COVID-19 FAQs
- Human Resource Laws and COVID-19 FAQs
- Cybersecurity – Especially Important for Remote Workers
Another issue many towns have on their radar is the 2020 Census and the effect the current emergency is having on collection of Census information. This information is incredibly important and is used to determine transportation funding, assistance for schools and students, and your state and federal legislative districts. Read this excellent resource piece Fill out the Census, officials urge, amid fears pandemic will subdue participation by VtDigger, and while you are there, if you are able, consider supporting the financing of their reporting which, like virtually everything, has been seriously impacted by this emergency.
It has been 19 days since the United States and Vermont each issued emergency declarations and 7 days since Vermont’s Stay at Home order was issued. Our world has changed dramatically in that short time.
I am grateful for my family’s health and to have this time to spend with my 18 year old son before he launches into his adult life. I remind myself daily that this time will not last forever. Hang in there
Bookmark for updates:
Vermont Department of Health 2019 Novel Coronavirus Current Status in Vermont Webpage for updates.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Disease page
World Health Organization Coronavirus Disease 2019
Additionally, please see below for new guidance released or updated today by the State of Vermont:
- CDC: Public Health Recommendations for People in U.S. Communities Exposed to a Person with Known or Suspected COVID-19, other than Health Workers or other Critical Infrastructure Workers
- New direction to large “big box” retailers to cease in-person sales of non-essential items
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance Small business owners in U.S., Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. To apply for a Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan click Here Questions about the SBA Disaster Assistance programs? Contact SBA Customer Service Center (800) 659-2955. SBA Disaster Assistance For free assistance with constructing financial statements and completing applications forms is available from the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC). Contact Ross Hart (802) 748-1014Rhart@vtsbdc.org.
Virtual Town Hall Series to begin on Thursday, April 2nd The Vermont Department of Labor will hold the first in a series of Virtual Town Hall events on April 2nd, 2:00-3:00 pm. This event will focus on employer services and issues around Unemployment Insurance. For full event details visit Virtual Town Hall. Future dates for the series have not yet been finalized but updates will be posted on the Department’s website http://Labor.Vermont.gov.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Laura Sibilia
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham