The legislature finished up the 2015 Legislative Session last night. Here is Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin sending us on our way at the close of the session. This was a difficult and productive session where a great deal was accomplished-
* legislation to address cleaning up Vermont's Lake Champlain and lakes and streams,
* an economic stimulus bill that includes money for first time home owners, business start up money, and a great deal more,
* modest gun control legislation that brings Vermont in line with the federal gun sales restrictions
* renewal of the End of Life bill
* an Education reform bill that begins to address Vermont's declining student enrollment, unsustainable costs, and quality of education/lack of opportunities issues for Vermont children,
* reforms to Vermont's child protection system to help protect our most vulnerable citizens,
* a modest Paid sick time law,
* Same day voter registration,
* a balanced budget that is less reliant on one time money, and more sustainable (1% growth)
These are just a few of the issues we addressed this session.
Additionally, I am proud that two of the bills I introduced were passed and became (or will become law):
* H. 62 A bill to prohibit juveniles from getting a life without parole sentence in VT (making us the 12th state to outlaw this)
H. 105 A bill that will make it illegal for sharing sexually explicit photos without permission, sometimes referred to as "revenge pornography".
More updates soon, but wanted to share quickly some of the accomplishments.
As a citizen legislature, we juggle many things during this intense time period and I now go back to my "regularly scheduled" life primarily.
Thank you for the honor and privilege to serve and represent Chittenden 6-6. I worked hard to do my best for the people of Vermont. Grateful to my colleagues, and especially Speaker Shap Smith for his leadership.
Also a special thanks to House Clerk Don Milne who retired yesterday after decades of years of service to our state.
I am honored to have represented Burlington’s Chittenden 6-6 District since 2012.During the last legislative session, there were many actions taken that will help make Vermont better. There is still much work to be done.I am eager to go back and work to make Vermont stronger and better for all Vermonters. I strongly believe that every Vermonter should have access to safe affordable housing, a good education, a good job with decent wages, a clean environment, enough food to eat, and good affordable health care. I want Vermont to be a place that is great for all of Vermont’s children to grow up and be successful. I want Vermont to be a place where a family can afford to buy a house and raise a family, where retirees on a fixed income are not driven away because they cannot afford to live here.There is so much that is so good and so special about Vermont, we need to nurture the good parts and work hard on making the parts that are not so good, better.I am running for reelection to work on these issues. As I go door to door and talk to constituents, I hear their concerns about the rising costs of living and working in Vermont.We must continue to grow our economy and assure that Vermonters will have access to good jobs that allow people to live on their wages earned.Vermont continues to have so many people living in poverty in our state, including so many children and families. I have dedicated my career to working to help families and children have a better life.I have brought to Montpelier, my skills running and working in nonprofits for several decades. We need to be careful how we spend our public resources and make sure we are spending them wisely.My experience running nonprofits has helped me to look at how to carefully control costs and make sure that we are getting what we paid for. We must keep the public’s trust in knowing how we are spending our money in Vermont, and how Vermonters are better off for these investments. I have been committed to social change and want to continue to work to make Vermont a better place for all Vermonters.