Messages from Montpelier are recurring op-eds written by state representatives during the legislative session.
This past Wednesday was the first day of the Vermont Legislature’s 2021 session. For the period beginning now until Town Meeting Day, we have voted to stay in session via remote means (Zoom to be exact).
As that time in early March approaches, we will be looking at the status of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and where we sit as a state in regard to the virus. Legislative leadership will remain in close contact with Gov. Phil Scott and Vermont’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mark Levine, to seek the road ahead as the session progresses and seek further guidance.
On Wednesday, all elected officials in the House and Senate were sworn in for the 2021-2022 Biennium. That same day, committee assignments were given out.
Incumbent Rep. Leland Morgan remains on the Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee. I was assigned to the Corrections and Institutions Committee. Bills will be forthcoming shortly and we will have various agencies testifying on pending legislation.
There was a first reading on a handful of initial bills. There are many, many more pending for introduction. My hope is that we focus, primarily on bills that aid in economic recovery from the pandemic. Additionally, we need to look hard at how we can reduce the (nearly) $200 million state deficit we face.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and I am hopeful for a great 2021! Stay safe and stay healthy.