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Members of the House Natural Resources & Energy Committee were recently interviewed on CCTV Channel 17's program "Under the Dome". Representatives Tim Jerman (Essex Jct), Mike Yantachka (Charlotte), and Curt McCormack (Burlington) spoke with host, Rob Reiber, about the legislation that their committee worked on during this session. Two bills, one regarding net metering (H.702) and another regarding revisions to land use regulations (H.809), were already voted on and passed by the House and are now under consideration by the Senate. Another bill, H.823, is related to H.809 and revises the permitting regulations in downtown development areas to encourage growth where it is desired and discourage sprawl. This bill and another one, H.695, a battery recycling bill, are expected to be voted on by the House when legislators return to Montpelier after their town Meeting break. You can watch the program here.
Americans, I’ve been watching the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and cheering for
our athletes. While they have won a fair
number of medals, it was unfortunate to see so many close finishes that were
just short of making the podium. My
admiration for every athlete, however, has not been diminished by the fact that
they didn’t win a medal. I admire each
and every one of them for having achieved the right to compete on this world
stage. They got there because they
pushed themselves to the limit over and over until, by sheer determination as
well as skill, they overcame their unique obstacles to make the U.S. Olympic
team. More often than not, it was
because they challenged their limits that they either medaled or fell short.
The problems with Vermont Health Connect have raised concerns about Vermont’s track toward universal health care coverage, called Green Mountain Care, that is scheduled to become operational in 2017. The Green Mountain Care Board has been working with financial consultants, hospitals, health care providers, and state economists to determine realistic funding options that will decrease the rate of health care cost increases. While everyone would like to know today what these funding options will be, it is necessary to take the time to do a thorough analysis to get it right. The Vermont legislature gave that time to the Green Mountain Care Board for that reason and, through its relevant committees, is following the progress of the Green Mountain Care Board closely and taking the experience with Vermont Health Connect into consideration. While there were voices that said controlling the cost of health care was too difficult a problem to solve, Vermont decided to step up to the challenge, to go for the gold, because all Vermonters should have access to good health care.
* After this article was published in The Citizen, I was informed that the system has been interacting with the federal databases since October.