Lots and lots of activity at the State House last week. As you probably have heard by now, the State House is closed until March 24th. There will be a deep clean of the whole building. The building is a petri dish to potentially spread any sort of virus back to each of the 180 members district when they return home each night or on the weekend.
Before we adjourned, the House passed a few bills to help with the potential impacts COVID-19. We adapted unemployment insurance eligibility to allow for affected businesses and individuals to receive unemployment benefits and ensure employers unemployment experience rating is not affected by these claims. We also passed a healthcare workforce bill that would allow retired medical professionals with a valid out-of-state license to join our workforce and prohibit COVID-19 related copayments. We also approved to expand our paid sick days law. Lastly, we passed a resolution calling on the federal government to refrain from detaining undocumented immigrants in a healthcare setting during this time to help control the spread of the virus.
Continue to stay up to date on the most current alerts and notifications at the Vermont Department of Health website at www.vermonthealth.gov and click on the “Find out about novel coronavirus” button. The Vermont Department of Health in conjunction with the CDC will continue to monitor the impacts and responses related to our communities.
In the meantime, be conscious of social distancing, continue to wash your hands regularly and if you are sick, please stay home. We can all help to get through this together!
If you have any questions, comments or concerns I would be happy to listen. Feel free to reach me by email at CMattos@leg.state.vt.us or by cell at (802) 922-2059.