Rep. Sibilia: Week 9 and the 2024 Town Meeting Update

Good evening all,

The legislature is off this coming week. When we reconvene, major bills will be moving including many listed below in this years Town Meeting update.

I hope to see you at Town Meeting in Jamaica, Stratton and Dover on Tuesday (Wardsboro’s Town Meeting is in May). I’ll be starting first thing in Jamaica with a special presentation, then traveling to Stratton and finally in Dover.

Town Meeting Update

Last week we spent a considerable amount of time on a Miscellaneous Elections Bill that had a number of elections provisions in it, including provisions to help ensure timely delivery of military and overseas voters votes. As I noted last week, the bill also contained provisions that would make it harder for candidates to get on the General Election ballot and provide less choice for voters. The “Sore Loser” provision resulted in Republicans, Progressives, some Democrats and independents debating the provisions for hours before losing to the Democratic super majority. In my time in the legislature I don’t recall many self indulgent partisan proposals coming to the floor. It was really disappointing. Given that there is new leadership providing oversight of our elections in the statehouse and in our Secretary of States Office, I’m hope this was an anomaly and not a preview.

Many thanks to those who took the time to come out over the past two weeks to learn more about the Supreme Court Carson decision from Maine which has implications for Vermont’s school choice policies. The decision noted that it was not required that school choice be offered – as it is to some families in Maine and Vermont – but if choice is offered, the state can not bar parents from picking a religious school.

In Vermont that means that we are now using public dollars to pay for religious worship. That runs afoul with Vermont’s Constitution which says that Vermonters can not be made to pay for religious worship. That is a problem. School Choice policies in Vermont will change, either by thoughtful action or court order.

At the suggestion of some of my constituents at today’s meeting, I will be setting up another forum to learn more about the court cases, the US and Vermont Constitution, and what human and civil rights are. Please be in touch with questions and review earlier posts on this topic: Rep. Sibilia: District forums on realigning Vermont School Choice policies with U.S. and VT Constitution and Rep. Sibilia: UPDATE on March 4 School Choice Forums

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Bill’s I have sponsored this week:

H.384 would require independent schools that accept public dollars to accept designation. What is the problem this bill would solve? Today, existing law says that towns that do not operate schools can choose to designate up to three public or independent schools in order to better control costs and plan for transportation. But it does not require schools to accept designation if they have room. And in Southern Vermont this has resulted in districts not being able to designate to their preferred independent school.

H.419 An act relating to broadband consumer protection and competition.. What is the problem this bill would solve? The private sector telecommunications market is largely unregulated and spends 100’s of millions of dollars annually to ensure they remain unregulated. This unfortunately does not typically result in more reliable high quality service for Vermonters. This bill seeks to promote a thriving broadband market in Vermont free of anticompetitive, unfair, deceptive, or misleading practices in order to protect the public and to encourage fair and honest competition.

H.455 An act relating to the requirement to pass a civics test for high school graduation. What is the problem this bill would solve? Civics is not required in many schools. Immigrants seeking to become Americans are expected to pass a basic civics test. This bill would require students to pass that same test as a requirement to graduate.

Monitor the bills I am sponsoring and recorded roll call votes.

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

Rep. Laura Sibilia – Dover, Jamaica, Somerset, Stratton, Wardsboro

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