Rep. Sibilia: Voting update and the return of the turnip

Good evening all!

General Election Ballots are in the mail and you have choices!

  • Carefully follow the directions and return all three ballots to your town Clerk’s Office before the election.
  • Bring the ballot with you to the polling place on election day
  • Go vote in person at your polling place on election day.

If you need help. contact your Town Clerk who is in charge of elections in your town. Information is available here: Vermont Town Clerks Office information. Remember that ballots are compared to the town voter checklist and voters marked off when they vote or return a ballot. You’ll only be able to vote once.

What a busy Fall it is shaping up to be! In addition to meeting with voters in Dover, Wardsboro, and Stratton and going door to door in Jamaica, we are preparing for a wedding for one of our daughters and grand puppy sitting for our other daughter while she is deployed. We are having fun getting better acquainted with Jamaica and Stratton and looking forward to celebrating the impending nuptials with our families soon! Many thanks to the Deerfield Valley Rotary for the excellent candidate forums they put forward in the Valley for both House and Windham Senate candidates.

Laura’s Office Hours:

  • Dover at the Dover Free Library Saturday October 8th at 11 am.
  • On October 20th I’ll be at the Wardsboro Library from 6-7 pm
  • Stratton voters are invited to a meet up at the Stratton Town Hall on Saturday Oct 22, 2022 at 9 am. Also on the 22nd is the Gilfeather Turnip Day in Wardsboro (see below for more info)

September in the Windham/Bennington and Windham – 2 Districts

Gilfeather Turnip Day! (this is a scaled-down event from the festivals prior to COVID)

Join us Saturday, October 22nd 10 AM to 1 PM at the library to celebrate Vermont’s state vegetable, the Gilfeather Turnip, first cultivated right here in Wardsboro. This year’s Gilfeather event will look different than that of previous years. We will host a variety of activities and games for all ages (look out for the vegetable catapult!), our famously well-stocked book sale (we’re still taking donations!), a bake sale (turnip and non-turnip items!), and, of course, the famous turnip soup.

We look forward to seeing all of you there and hope to grow this event in the coming years. Interested in volunteering for GIlfeather Turnip Day or other library events? Contact us at (802) 896-6988 or

Sign at the September 7th Public Meeting in Manchester which I attended.

Proposed Amendments to the Air Pollution Control Regulations, Low Emission Vehicle and Zero Emission Vehicle Regulations

These proposed amendments set standards for auto manufacturers that will reduce greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant emissions from passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and engines that are delivered for sale or placed in service in Vermont. The proposed amendments will also require auto manufacturers to deliver more low emission and electric vehicles to Vermont. Read the proposed rule and monitor the ongoing public process.

Vermont Issues First Three Licenses for Retail Cannabis Sales 

I’ll be out and about over the next month looking to talk with voters. Here are a few questions that have been posed and claims made in the past few weeks that I’d like to provide information on.

This past week a potential new constituent asked me if I had any staff as a legislator.

The answer is – not really. Legislators typically serve in Montpelier at the Statehouse from the 1st week of January through mid-May. The governor can call us back after that, and if he vetoes a bill, we can come back to either support or override his veto. During that time, I typically share an apartment with several other legislators in Montpelier during the week and come home to Dover on the weekend. We are paid about $740 a week for the roughly 17 weeks we are in session. We are not paid when we are not in Montpelier. Many legislators are retired, own their own business or have resources that allow them not to work. Some legislators, like me, have to work when the legislature is not in session. I work on regional economic development planning, a job I love and have held for close to a decade.

Back to the staffing question: Vermont has the second smallest State House Districts in the U.S. – every 4100 Vermonters has a representative. In Vermont there are 150 House members. And 30 Senators. When your legislator is in the statehouse, they are assigned to a committee and get a seat at the committee table and a file drawer in a filing cabinet. Each legislator also has a numbered desk in the house chamber with a shelf for storing papers, bills and books. Legislators share about 20 lawyers who draft bills and advise committees. Each committee has an assistant who helps the committee schedule witnesses and makes sure the public has access to proceedings and records of committee work from January – May. There are another dozen staffers who help with computer problems, make sure legislators get paid, schedule public hearings, and proofread bills. There is a police force at the statehouse. That is the extent of the staffing available to legislators.

With a number of independent candidates running up and down the statewide ballot, I’ve also been hearing inaccurate information about what it means to be an independent legislator

In Vermont, there is a long history of electing independents. An independent in Vermont means belonging to “no party”. There is no independent party, so you can not register as an independent. If you are elected as an independent, you do not have to caucus (meet with) any of the registered parties. And the parties do not feel obligated to assist independents. Independents work with legislators and elected officials from all parties.

Independents can lean more to the extreme right or to the extreme left because they have found that the parties don’t go far enough with their platforms. Some independents lean more to the middle, because they feel the parties have gone too far with their platforms. The average voter may think they have already have a good idea of how someone running as a Democrat or a Republicans will vote. How can an average voter know how an independent legislator will vote? Well, you can ask, you can look at their record, you can look at their social media and you can look at who is supporting them to get some clues.

Instead of what party do you run with, I think better questions to ask all candidates, and especially independents – is: How will you make decisions about your voting? How will you do the work of representing us? How will you share with me your vote rationale? Who will you work with to solve problems and help our district?

I’m hearing and seeing false and sensationalized claims about Article 22 – the proposed Reproductive Freedom Amendment to the Vermont Constitution that is on this year’s General Election Ballot.

The claim that Article 22 will allow elective late term abortions or up to the point of birth is untrue and completely out of touch with the reality of pregnancy. George Till is an obstetrician who works at UVM Medical Center. UVM is the only place in Vermont that an abortion after 21 weeks 6 days is performed, and it is only performed after the convening of an ethics panel. Rep George Till offered a fact based and medically sound explanation of the reality of passing Article 22. I also wrote about the federal laws in place and what is at stake for Vermonters earlier this summer.

Proposed Article 22. “Unless justified by a compelling state interest” references exceptions to the Article – if it passes – that would be made by the courts if laws were challenged. “by the least restrictive means” is instruction to the courts from Vermonters – if the article passes – to remedy legitimate challenges to the article by doing as little as possible in order to achieve constitutionality.

As you are doing research leading up to the election, I encourage you to check out the legislative website linked below, peruse the blogsite where I regularly post information for voters and read some of the pieces I have written on the major broadband, education and climate initiatives I have been working on.

See what bills I have sponsored and voting record, or watch my committee hearings or Listen to VPR House Live Audio  or Watch House Live Video .

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 if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or Follow my regular posts online at

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

running for election in 2022 to represent Dover, Somerset, Stratton, Jamaica and Wardsboro

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