Rep. Sibilia: March 13th update

Good evening,

Please join me tomorrow, Sunday March 13th for a discussion on Vermont Education Finance and the Weighting Proposals under consideration.

Topic: H.54 Discussion
Time: Mar 14, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87333532578?pwd=YkZPSEMyb3BXbU1Ccmh1WnBQSjd1QT09

Dial by phone +1 301 715 8592 US

Meeting ID: 873 3353 2578 Passcode: 943191

Final American Rescue Plan bill passes House, will bring $2.7 billion to Vermont

The legislature resumed meeting this week, called “Crossover” week for most bills to be voted out of committee and out of the the House or Senate so that the other body can consider the legislation in the second half of the session which will typically end in May. Bills that have to do with taxing and spending have another few weeks to make their way.

There are a number of bills moving that locals have been in touch on:

Don’t forget to move the clock forward one hour TONIGHT!
  • S.13 An act relating to the implementation of the Pupil Weighting Factors Report was voted out of the Senate Education Committee on a 6-0 vote. The bill will go to the floor of the Senate next week. This bill is a giant step in the right direction, but very glaringly does not include any relief for districts this year. Deerfield Valley locals have joined with a statewide coalition of well informed school officials to give voice to Vermont’s neediest children and urge legislators to take action to correct this long standing injustice. THANK YOU! Your informed persistence and advocacy are making a difference.
  • H.133 An act relating to emergency relief from abuse orders and relinquishment of firearms was voted out of the House on a roll call vote of 102-44. Since 1994, half (50%) of all homicides in Vermont have been domestic violence-related. H. 133 codifies and clarifies the current judicial practice in Vermont regarding firearms and civil emergency Relief from Abuse (RFA) orders. Currently, Vermont Family Court judges may order a defendant to relinquish their firearms and refrain from acquiring or possessing firearms as one of several court conditions imposed to protect victims of domestic violence and/or their children. H. 133 does not expand or limit the court’s inherent authority to order firearms-related conditions. While the court already has the inherent authority to order firearms relinquishment and non-possession in emergency RFA orders, practice varies across Vermont leading to geographic disparities. H. 133 ensures that the court’s well-established inherent authority and powers derived from case law are reflected in law, and provides clarity for judges, plaintiffs and defendants. I voted to support this bill.
  • S.110 An act relating to extending eligibility for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation has passed the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governors signature. Extended regular unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks to claimants who have exhausted their 26 weeks of benefits on July 1,2019 or any time after. On December 27, 2020, PEUC was extended for an additional 11 weeks or until benefit week-ending March 13, 2021. Eligible claimants may experience a delay, but will receive payment starting for the benefit week ending January 2, 2021. 
  • S.79 An act relating to improving rental housing health and safety has passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee and provides for new regulations of short term rentals by the Division of Fire Safety. The bill creates a rental registry which requires the following information be collected for all rental units:
  1. the name of the owner or landlord;
  2. phone number, electronic mail, and mailing address of the landlord, as available;
  3. location of the unit;
  4. year built;
  5. type of rental unit;
  6. number of units in the building;
  7. school property account number;
  8. accessibility of the unit; and
  9. any other information the Department deems appropriate.

GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT UPDATES GATHERING AND RESTAURANT TABLE SEATING GUIDANCE

Governor Phil Scott announced updates to COVID-19 guidance for small multi-household gatherings and table seating at restaurants. Effective immediately, the changes allow two unvaccinated households to gather at a time, and permitting restaurants to seat multiple households together, but no more than six people can be seated at the same table. Masking, distancing, capacity limits, and other mitigation guidelines remain in place.

The State previously lifted gathering restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated. For individuals and households who are not fully vaccinated, social gatherings indoors and outdoors in private spaces are limited to two unvaccinated households or individuals at one time, plus any fully vaccinated households. Unvaccinated households or individuals may gather with more than one other unvaccinated household or individual, as long as there are just two unvaccinated households or individuals at any one gathering.

To view the new guidance in detail, visit https://accd.vermont.gov/news/update-new-work-safe-additions-be-smart-stay-safe-order.

For more information on:


Vaccination Eligibility Expands to Vermonters High-Risk Conditions
High-risk health conditions include:

  • Current cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Heart disease
  • Immunocompromised / Weakened immune system
  • Severe obesity (BMI of 40 or more)
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes (Types 1 & 2)
  • Disabilities, including chromosomal disorders, intellectual disabilities, and disabilities that affect lung function 
  • Sickle cell disease

For a detailed list of eligible conditions and to sign-up for your vaccine starting Monday, visit HealthVermont.gov/MyVaccine. If registering online is not an option, you can make an appointment by calling (855) 722-7878.

You do NOT need a doctor’s note or proof of a health condition to sign up. The Health Department may use the information you provide to confirm your eligibility, either through medical records or by contacting your provider. The department may also reach out to people who don’t have a provider to offer a connection to care.

Please join me in keeping our deploying Vermont National Guardsmen and women – and the families and communities they leave behind – in your thoughts. Hundreds of Vermonters are deploying for yearlong oversea deployments.

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Vaccination Information for Education and Child Care Systems

The K-12 education community and regulated childcare program staff will receive information on how and when they will be vaccinated, and instructions on how to register, directly from their employers. Please do not try to make an appointment until you hear from your employer. Appointments will occur over the next few weeks. If you have questions, please contact your school’s COVID-19 coordinator.

Eligible for vaccination?

More appointments are available

The state is partnering with the Vermont National Guard to administer vaccines. A larger contingent of the National Guard will be activated on March 15 to provide more vaccination opportunities as the supply increases later this month.

In addition, Walmart is offering vaccinations at its six stores in Vermont. People will register for appointments at these new sites through the Health Department website and call center.

If you have already made an appointment at another clinic but would like to get vaccinated sooner, you can still register for these sites – but please CANCEL your original appointment in the system where you made it. Cancellations and unplanned no-shows could result in spoiled vaccine doses.

If you need to cancel your appointment, please do as soon as possible. If it was made on the Health Department website, you’ll need to log in to your account and cancel it there. If you have trouble canceling, call 855-722-7878. Register with Health Department


Emergency Broadband Benefit Assistance Program Approved by FCC 

On February 25, the FCC unanimously adopted a Report and Order that established the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, a $3.2 billion federal initiative to help lower the cost of high-speed internet for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The EBB program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible families. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price. The FCC has not yet announced the start date for the program but anticipates it will be open by the end of April. For more information on the program and the eligibility requirements, go to Emergency Broadband Benefit | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)


Boyd Family Farm Community Supported Agriculture

The farm share can be purchased between January 25th and May 1st, 2021. A whole share is $500.00 with a farm incentive amount of $50.00 which we add to your account for you to spend as you please. A half share is $250.00 with a farm incentive of $25.00 for a total of $275.00. It is like getting a $25.00- or $50.00-dollar coupon for things you purchase already! Share credits are good till December 31, 2021 and must be used by then. Cash or Check only.

Boyd Family Farm boydfarm@sover.net Home Office p.802.464.5618 Limited Shares Available!


Vermont House sessions

The public can also watch the Vermont House legislative sessions live or recorded videos – information below

Tuesday at 10:00 AM; Wednesday at 1:15 PM; Thursday at 1:15 PM; Friday at 9:30 AM (All times subject to change)


As always, if you have suggestions, concerns or critiques please be in touch so we can schedule time to discuss them.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us. Follow my regular posts online at http://www.laurasibiliavt.com

Kind regards, 

Rep. Laura Sibilia 
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham

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