Rep Sibilia: December 1 Update

Good evening,

This is the time of year when a number of different reports and signals about the upcoming legislative session start to be released. A few of those are included in this report. If you have questions, comments or concerns please reach out.

From the Initial Vermont Climate Action Plan released today.

One report that has come out today is the 2021 Global Warming Solutions Plan. The plan was approved for release by a vote of 19-4 with four members of the Scott Administration voting for the plan and 4 against. Below are links to statements from the full Council, from the Scott Administration and a link to a piece I wrote in 2020. We are already experiencing the effects of climate change in our towns and our local and state economies are vulnerable to much larger states and countries actions to address climate change. We will be affected whether we act or not. The difference is how much.

This Climate Council issued a statement noting that it’s initial comprehensive, four-year plan includes recommendations to:

  • Expand weatherization and clean, energy-efficient heating options, such as improved insulation and heat pumps for Vermonters.
  • Shift away from fossil fuels and fossil fuel-dependent equipment.
  • Build more charging stations for electric vehicles.
  • Provide incentives to help Vermonters purchase electric vehicles. 
  • Incentivize village and downtown development in a way that preserves more open space, such as town forests, and uses land more efficiently. 
  • Create infrastructure that supports more walking, biking, public transit options and electric vehicle use in Vermont communities.
  • Invest in agricultural and working lands management practices that cut emissions.
  • Prioritize planning practices and investments that help Vermont communities prepare for climate impacts.
  • Launch comprehensive climate education programs for schools and sectors. 

Nearly every one of the more than 230 actions identified in the Plan needs some amount of additional study and scrutiny. Fortunately, and perhaps inevitably, the vast majority of the Plan’s actions require Legislative process and action – the appropriate course for policy deliberations and appropriations under our Vermont Constitution. Vermonters must understand the impacts and support these ideas as a people. Without the informed and broad support of the people, this must not move.

ADMINISTRATION SIGNING STATEMENT: CONCERNS RELATED TO PROCESS, TIMELINE AND CONSTRUCT OF THE GLOBAL WARMING SOLUTIONS ACT

I wrote about the legislation that required this plan in 2020

The Legislative Joint Fiscal Office has recently issued a policy brief on this topic Climate Change and Public Policy Solutions in Vermont.


A quick reminder that Rep. Gannon and I will be hosting a discussion tomorrow Thursday December 2nd at 8:30 am on Pensions.

Join Zoom Meeting online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/734376857?pwd=Z1BmNmlwcWxJMWxVZTFaZE96MmlQQT09or by phone   +1 646 558 8656 US Meeting ID: 734 376 857 Passcode: 003089

If you have questions or need assistance accessing the meeting please email lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us or jgannon@leg.state.vt.


COVID UPDATE From the CDC:

Top Things You Need to Know

  1. New variants of the virus are expected to occur. Taking measures to reduce the spread of infection, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine, is the best way to slow the emergence of new variants.
  2. Vaccines reduce your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
  3. All COVID-19 tests can detect known variants, but they will not tell you which variant you have.

Vaccines 

  • FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines protect against Delta and other known variants.
  • Vaccines reduce your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
  • We don’t yet know how effective the vaccines will be against new variants that may arise.

Symptoms 

  • All variants cause similar COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Some variants, such as the Alpha and Delta variants, may cause more severe illness and death.

Masks 

  • Wearing a mask is an effective way to reduce the spread of earlier forms of the virus, the Delta variant and other known variants.
  • People who are not fully vaccinated should take steps to protect themselves, including wearing a mask indoors in public at all levels of community transmission.
  • People who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • People who have an underlying medical condition, a weakened immune system, or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not have as much protection even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take steps recommended for people who are not fully vaccinated, including wearing a mask.
  • Wearing a mask is very important if you or someone in your household

How vaccine-makers plan to address the new COVID-19 omicron variant


Vermont Health Connect Open Enrollment through December 15th

– Vermont Health Connect has a Plan Comparison Tool to help you look at your options for 2022 and get a sense of what financial support you could get on your monthly premiums. After speaking to some of our solo-entrepreneurs, this helped them to save a significant amount of money for 2022 by returning to the exchange. CLICK HERE for the PLAN COMPARISON TOOL.

– We all know that navigating your options can be overwhelming. For those employers or employees that are getting their health insurance through the exchange, Vermont Health Connect has assisters throughout Vermont that can help you and/or your employees walk through your options. You can call directly at 855-899-9600 or CLICK HERE to find an assister in your county. 

Key Deadlines:

  • Open Enrollment began NOVEMBER 1st
  • December 15th is the LAST DAY to choose a plan to receive coverage on January 1st
  • January 1, 2022 – 2022 Coverage Begins
  • January 15th, 2022 – Last Day of Open Enrollment WEBINAR RECORDINGPRESENTATION SLIDE DECK

Don’t assume your income is too high to get lower costs. As supported by the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, in 2022, Vermonters in single plans with incomes up to $105,000 and those in family plans with incomes up to $297,000 may qualify for a tax credit. 


Bookmark this site which shows us where Vermont Agency of Transportation’s plow trucks are.

RELEASE OF THE DRAFT 2022 COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY PLAN

The Vermont Department of Public Service (PSD) has released the draft 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP). The PSD seeks public comments on the draft plan until December 20, 2021.

The draft 2022 CEP is the next step in a year-long process that draws on input from Vermonters and numerous State agencies. This CEP reflects close coordination between the PSD and Vermont Climate Council, which is developing the Climate Action Plan required by the Global Warming Solutions Act (Act 153 of 2020). The Climate Action Plan is being prepared through a separate process, under different statutory requirements.  Please see Chapter 2 of the Draft CEP for further information on the interaction of the CEP and Climate Action Plan. 

ONLINE AND IN-PERSON PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULE

EMAIL SIGN-UP FORM FOR PROCESS UPDATES

Download the Draft 2022 CEP


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 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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