Good afternoon friends and neighbors,
My heartfelt gratitude to all who are complying with the federal and state guidelines and limiting social interactions during this holiday. There is currently a mandatory quarantine period for all traveling to Vermont.
I know folks are tired and missing their families and friends. I can hear the weariness in the voices of my own friends on the phone, the concern of local business owners when they call, see it in the eyes of my co-workers and fellow legislators on Zoom calls. This is difficult for many, especially with the holidays. But we have to persevere friends. For our healthcare workers, our kids and parents and for our economy. And the good news is also plentiful – we can largely control the spread while multiple vaccines become available in December and into 2021. Here are guidelines from the CDC for Holiday Gatherings. Hang in there – we are Vermonters and Americans and we can do hard things!
State officials clarify ban on social gatherings
At Friday’s press conference, Governor Phil Scott added further clarification to the state’s prohibition of social gatherings in the newest executive order. Under the order, you are not allowed to gather with people you don’t live with. This includes all inside and outside social, recreational and entertainment gatherings, and in public and private spaces.
There is an exception for people who live alone. They may gather with people who live in one other household. Gov. Scott announced additional allowances Friday:
- People can take in and shelter those from another household who are living in a dangerous, unhealthy or otherwise unsafe situation.
- You can do outdoor fitness activities with one other person from another household. However, both of you must stay at least 6 feet away from each other and wear a mask at all times. For example, you can bike, hike, walk or run with one of your neighbors.
As daily cases of COVID-19 continue to reach new heights, Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said we can still contain the virus, but we need Vermonters’ help.
Public budget forum to receive comments on FY 2022 state budget development
Commissioner of Finance & Management, Adam Greshin, has announced a public forum for comment on FY 2022 State budget development. Pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 306(d) the Governor is required to enable public participation in the development of goals and in the general prioritization of spending and revenue initiatives.
Members of the public with thoughts, comments or suggestions regarding the development of the FY 2022 budget are invited to participate via an online survey or through a link to a brief budget presentation and public comment page. To participate, go to:
The Department of Finance and Management appreciates all feedback on the budget development process.
SCOTT ADMINISTRATION RELAUNCHES ELECTRIC VEHICLE INCENTIVE PROGRAM WITH NEARLY $1 MILLION IN NEW FUNDING
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) has relaunched the State’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Incentive Program with a new round of $950,000 in incentive funding available to income-qualified applicants to purchase or lease new PEVs. The program was first proposed by Governor Phil Scott in his FY2020 budget, and the first round of the program launched in December 2019.
“Transportation is responsible for a large part of our greenhouse gas emissions and replacing combustion vehicles with electric vehicles is a key strategy for meeting Vermont’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements,” said Governor Scott. “These incentives make the transition to electric vehicles more affordable for Vermonters and get us closer to a sustainable transportation system.”
Incentive amounts range from $1,500 to $4,000 based on income level and whether the vehicle is an all-electric or plug-in hybrid model. Under the new eligibility criteria (modified in July 2020), individuals or married couples with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of up to $125,000 (depending on tax filing status) may be eligible for incentives, with larger incentives available to individuals or married couples with an AGI of $50,000 or less.
“We’re very encouraged by the success of the first round of the EV incentive program,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “We hope the new round of funding enables more Vermonters to make the switch into driving fully electric vehicles, which are a win for any household budget and a win for our environment.”
Vermonters can apply through a participating auto dealer or independently with a consumer-direct application. Incentive funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
For additional information on income eligibility, eligible PEVs and application instructions, as well as other EV incentives, please visit www.driveelectricvt.com/why-go-electric/purchase-incentives.
Community Bank Lobby Closed
To Our Valued Customers:
At Community Bank, N.A., the safety of our customers, employees and communities will always remain our top priority. Like you, we’ve been closely monitoring updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as data from our states about the current surge of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We’re committed to being proactive and responsive to the needs of our customers during this time.
Based on the current information, we’ve made the decision to temporarily close all branch lobbies and operate through the drive-thrus starting on Wednesday, November 25th. Lobbies at branch locations will be available by appointment only. These guidelines are a proactive approach to this evolving situation. We believe they are both conservative and prudent considering the current information the CDC has provided about COVID-19. We will continue to monitor updates and are prepared to take additional measures as necessary.We understand the vital importance of having access to your accounts. During this time, we strongly encourage you to use Community Bank’s digital tools and phone banking options that will allow you to bank from the comfort and safety of your home. Our online and mobile banking tools provide 24/7 digital account access and the ability to transfer funds, check account balances and activity, pay bills and more. If you’re not enrolled yet in online or mobile banking, please visit cbna.com or call us for assistance. Our customer service can be reached at email@example.com or 1-866-764-8638 Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm (EST). Additionally, we’re continuing precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of everyone: Enhanced cleaning protocols for high-touch, high-traffic areas in our facilities. Always asking our employees to remain home when sick. Travel restrictions for employees. Finally, beware of scams–the coronavirus could entice cyber criminals. Community Bank will never contact you to provide or verify your personal account information including full social security or account numbers, online banking account username or password.
We appreciate your continued support and understanding in this difficult time of uncertainty. Together, we can all do our part to help protect our local communities. Please visit cbna.com/coronavirus-update for the latest updates from Community Bank as the situation evolves and visit cdc.gov for updates from the CDC.
Your Friends at Community Bank, N.A
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