Drop in on the Vermont Legislature

 The Vermont legislature continues to operate remotely as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and will continue to do so at least until May 15, 2021.  Conducting business remotely is very different from meeting at the Statehouse because of the lack of personal interaction which often helps facilitate communication on important issues.  Zooming is just not the same.  

However, there is a silver lining to this dark cloud.  As a result of live streaming of floor sessions and committee proceedings, it is now possible for anyone anywhere to "sit in" on a proceeding. If you have an interest in a particular issue or would just like to see how legislative business is conducted, I invite you to drop in at your convenience.  Here's how.

Floor sessions take place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, 1:15 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 9:30 a.m. on Fridays.  To view a livestream of a session go to https://legislature.vermont.gov/.  Scroll down to the bottom of the House or Senate sections where you will find a link to "Watch House/Senate Live Video".  If you want to watch a session after the fact at your leisure, click on the same link and you will find recordings of previous sessions.

Committee meetings are where most of the work takes place.  This is where bills that have been assigned to the committee are discussed and testimony from witnesses are taken.  To view a committee proceeding, again go to https://legislature.vermont.gov/.  In the sidebar at the right is a link to "Scheduled Committee Meetings". Clicking on the link will take you to a page that contains links to the committee pages and the published agenda for the week.  On the committee page there will be a link to "Livestream" where either a livestream of a hearing or recorded hearings can be viewed.

The Vermont Statehouse is truly "The People's House". As citizens of Vermont the work that goes on there is for the benefit of all and is transparent to all.  At these times when democracy is under assault by lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories, we in Vermont have an opportunity to see the legislature in action with our own eyes. Being engaged is a way we can all protect our democratic form of government.