Good evening –
Tomorrow is November 3rd and your last chance to vote in the 2020 election!
If you are a registered voter you should have received a mail in ballot. If you plan to vote in person, you can save time by bringing that unused ballot with you.
In Vermont you can register to vote the day of the election – so if you havent registered head to the polls and talk with your Town Clerk.
If you are registering to vote in Vermont for the first time, you must include a photocopy of an acceptable form of ID. Acceptable forms of ID are:
● Valid photo ID (driver’s license or passport)
● Current utility bill
● Current bank statement
● Another government document containing your residential address.
Thank you to all of our Town Clerks and election officials for the incredible amount of time you have spent troubleshooting, answering questions and preparing for an election during a period of federal and state health emergency – thanking you for ensuring all voters can particpate in our democratic elections!
Vermont Health Connect Open Enrollment
Eligible Vermonters can sign up for coverage or change their health insurance plans with Vermont Health Connect from November 1 – December 15th, 2020. The Office of the Health Care Advocate’s (HCA) Helpline is available to provide free and accessible advice to Vermonters trying to figure out their health insurance options for 2021!
Contact the HCA if you have questions related to your:
- Eligibility to enroll in coverage
- Eligibility for subsidies to help pay for insurance premiums
- 2021 Plan Selection
- Past due insurance premiums
- Other questions about health insurance eligibility or access to car
The HCA is a free resource that is available to all Vermonters. Call1-800-917-7787 or email email@example.com to speak with a Health Care Advocate or visit us on the web at https://vtlawhelp.org/health.
Scholarship for Adult Career Technical Education Now Available for Vermonters
The Vermont Department of Labor has announced the availability of a new $1,000 scholarship for eligible Vermonters to support training and other expenses incurred from enrollment in an adult career and technical education certificate program. The Adult Career Technical Education (CTE) Scholarship was created in partnership between the Department of Labor and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.
The scholarship provides up to $1,000 for Vermonters to cover training and other costs associated with participating in a CTE certificate program that will enhance employability and support growth along a career path. $162,000 in funding for the scholarships was made available using the Vermont Department of Labor’s training funds and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Occupational skills training at regional CTEs help workers earn valuable industry-recognized credentials. Trainings are available in automotive, cosmetology, medical (LNA, phlebotomy, etc.), commercial driver’s license (CDL), information technology (IT), professional services, building trades and more. Adult CTE providers train over 3,000 students annually, awarding over 700 industry-recognized credentials.
To be eligible, participants must:
- Be a Vermont resident and eligible for employment;
- Have graduated from high school; and
- Completed a career consultation with a Vermont Department of Labor job specialist.
Those interested in applying for the Adult CTE Scholarship may complete a form of inquiry through the Department of Labor website at https://labor.vermont.gov/JobSearchVermont. A Department of Labor job specialist will follow up to schedule a consultation and refer applicants to this scholarship program and any other resources available.
- The quiet powerhouse fighting racism in one of America’s whitest states
- State workers told to continue working remote through winter
A Message from Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services Vermont: During these difficult times, new financial help programs are available to many Vermonters. The state does not want people to be struggling to pay bills, so please apply, even if you don’t usually get public help. Vermont Legal Aid has more information on these programs on our website:https://vtlawhelp.org/.
Vermont Legal Aid is also able to help individual tenants and homeowners. Call us at 1-800-889-2047or go to https://vtlawhelp.org/. For the fastest response, leave a message explaining what you need in a sentence or two.
1. Help with past-due rent Apply by Dec. 11
For help with past-due rent, Vermonters should apply for the Rental Housing Stabilization Program through the Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA.org). Tenants and landlords apply for this program at the same time. There are no income limits. VSHA pays landlords directly to bring the tenant’s rent account current. You can get help now, and apply again if you still need help later.
2. Moving to a new home Apply by Dec. 11
Some people need to move because of life safety problems with their rental unit, the rent is too expensive, they have trouble with the landlord or other tenants, or the unit is too big or too small. If you need to move and have found a new landlord, apply together for the Money to Move program at vsha.org. The program can cover the money needed to move in, such as first and last month’s rent and security deposit. It also may cover rent payments through the end of this year.
3. Free mediation program for landlord-tenant disputes during the moratorium. Apply ASAP
Sometimes issues other than money get in the way of settlement and dismissal of eviction cases. Mediators are available to help landlords and tenants solve those issues and maintain tenancies. File joint application found at www.vtlandlord.com.
4. Emergency housing for people who do not have a home
The Department of Children and Family’s (DCF) Economic Services Division is extending housing supports for homeless households. For more information or to apply, contact the Benefits Service Center at 1-800-479-6151. If you stay in a shelter or motel, you need to participate in “coordinated entry.” You will be assigned a housing case manager who will help you access subsidies and programs to help you get permanent housing. To learn more about coordinated entry, call 2-1-1. If you worked with your case manager to apply for a subsidy or other program and your application was denied, call Vermont Legal Aid at 1-800-889-2047.
5. Past-Due Utility Bills Apply ASAP
The Department of Public Service (DPS) can help pay past-due utility bills. The bills can be for electric, natural gas, landline telephone service or regulated private water bills (not municipal water). Homes and small businesses are eligible. There are no income limits, and you don’t have to have a disconnect notice.
6. Mortgage Assistance Program (and maybe Property Tax Assistance) Apply by Nov. 6
This program can pay up to six past-due mortgage payments on your home. It is available to all Vermonters who:
• are at least 1 month past due on mortgage payments
• have a COVID-related hardship, and
• meet the income requirements.
Even people who have mortgages in forbearance are eligible. Apply if you have a mortgage and are behind on property taxes. Vermont Housing Finance Agency is taking applications for the VT COVID Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program at VHFA.org. (You do not need to have a VHFA mortgage to be eligible.)
Vermont lays out COVID-19 vaccine distribution framework
Read the press release. To view the full proposal submitted to the CDC, visit healthvermont.gov/covid19-vaccine.
As always, if you have suggestions, concerns or critiques please be in touch so we can schedule time to discuss.
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. Follow my regular posts online at http://www.laurasibiliavt.com
Rep. Laura Sibilia
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham