The Word in the House 1/3/2019 - Beginning Anew in 2019

Happy New Year, everyone!

The beginning of the year means the beginning of another session of the Vermont Legislature, and in particular this year, the reorganization of the Legislature after the election. The first week, starting January 9th, will be devoted to seating the 40 new members recently elected as well as the returning 110 members re-elected to the House. Governor Scott will be sworn into office for his second term, and we will elect the Speaker of the House. Our current Speaker, Representative Mitzi Johnson of North Hero, is expected to resume her role. One of the first tasks she will perform will be to assign House members to the 14 standing committees of the House, including naming the Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Clerks of the committees. Then we will begin working on the many issues facing Vermont.

There’s no shortage of issues to address as we work to make sure every Vermonter can get a great education, earn a livable wage, receive high-quality affordable health care, and retire with security. We still must deal with the opioid crisis, funding water quality programs and our growing greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. We have to be all-in on these issues because it will take a concerted effort by all Vermonters to implement viable solutions.

Vermont’s legislative sessions typically run 18 weeks, concluding in May. As things move along, a number of bills and topics will end up in the headlines. Less flashy, but equally important, bills will also make their way through committees as they head for votes on the floor. If you have any questions about any topic under consideration at the State House, please reach out to me via phone or email. During this session I will also try to make myself available in person at local venues like the Charlotte Senior Center and the Charlotte Library. I will be at the library on Saturday, January 19, from 10 a.m. to noon, and at the Senior Center on Monday, January 21, for the noon lunch. I will publish subsequent “office hours” via Front Porch Forum and my legislative updates in our local newspapers.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019 and look forward once again to keeping you informed about the legislature while we are in session. I encourage you to let me know your concerns and opinions. I can be reached by phone (802-233-5238) or by email (