Feb. 2 - Feb. 5:
It certainly has been very snowy this past week, but your Vermont House and Senate have been aggressively meeting via Zoom! Things are really starting to pick up rapid pace with many bills introduced and very engaged Committee meetings.
COVID-19 Vaccine rollout is still the hottest topic out there. We are still in the midst of those 75 and above able to sign up and get shots. So far, more than 2/3 of the 46,000 Vermonters in that age group have signed up.
Another hot topic is the 1099-G mix up that occurred with unemployment documents sent to folks. The latest update from the Department of Labor (DOL) has the following happening: DOL will mail a pre-paid/postage paid envelope to everyone that received these 1099’s and is asking for a recall of all of them. 1099’s will then be re-issued to everyone. Also, everyone affected will receive fraud/credit monitoring at no cost to them. All claimants should be notified by DOL in an e-mail.
On Friday, the House passed H.18 “A bill that proposes to include simulated conduct with the definition of sexual conduct for purposes of the crime involving sexual exploitation of children.” This bill seeks to tighten down and include other acts that are ultimately an endangerment to our children. This bill had bi-partisan support, as it should have.
Last, my Committee, House Corrections and Institutions continues to take a plethora of testimony on the Vermont owned buildings for renovations and potentially, even some new construction. One possible new construction project is a $11.6 M proposal to Complete the Middlesex Therapeutic Community Residence. In 2011, Hurricane Irene wiped out the old Waterbury State Hospital and residents were transitioned to other facilities throughout the state. This facility would be for those no longer in need of inpatient care but still need serious intervention in mutual crisis. The key is that this, like all other projects need to fit into the Capital Bill, which our committee constructs, and stay within budgets projected by the Governor (which was a no increased taxes budget from last fiscal year).
representing you in montpelier