Social justice themed Youth Council, hospital firearms ban, mask rebellion, ‘free’ school lunches, and more

Vermont continues to shift leftward as progressive lawmakers seek to create a new Youth Council for social justice, advance gun control for hospitals, and push school lunches for all, regardless of family income. Also, a judge has ruled against a business for defying mask-wearing.

Newly forming Youth Council to focus on social justice

On Friday, the House Committee on Government Operations advanced H.293 to create a State Youth Council. The council would provide “advice on policies that impact young persons in Vermont.”

According to the text of the bill, the search for candidates for the council will “focus on prioritizing diversity and inclusion, including characteristics such as county of residence, gender identity, racial identity, disabilities, age, and other characteristics identified by the applicants.”

Rep. Mark Higley, R-Lowell, told the Gov Ops committee that he wants to see “Vermont Traditions and Conservation” added as a subcommittee. There are five subcommittees in the current text: the Youth Voice Committee, the Education Committee, the Equity and Anti-Racism Committee, the Climate Change Committee, and the Youth Mental Health Committee.

Michael Bielawski/TNR

WEAR YOUR MASK NOW: Attorney General TJ Donovan has successfully sued businesses for attempting to resist Vermont’s COVID-19 mandates.

“If we’re looking to use input into some of these issues, that for me is a big one,” Higley said.

No guns allowed in hospitals

Also on Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a ban on firearms in hospitals, S.30. The current status quo is hospitals can post signage to bar weapons from their premises, and any violation can result in a felony trespassing.

The new legislation would make it a chargeable offense to bring a gun inside a hospital — even if by accident.

A broader version of this bill included other public spaces in addition to hospitals, but it did not gain enough support to advance out of the committee.

Free school lunches for all, including the rich

S.100 would require Vermont schools to continue to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students regardless of their family’s income, even after it is no longer paid for by federal dollars. Costs for the program have been estimated as high as $50 million per year. Supporters suggest it could be closer to $25 million, however.

Free lunch programs in other states have had mixed results. Schools in Warwick, Rhode Island, found that the inability to pay for free lunch programs caused businesses from the private sector to step in. The yogurt company Chobani covered almost $50,000 in unpaid tabs.

The free-market think tank the Heritage Foundation suggests lunch programs should exclude those who do not need them.

Mask mandate battle developments in Newport

A Vermont judge has ruled that the state mask mandate is constitutional. A former UPS store in Newport has been defying the state’s mask requirements, prompting Attorney General TJ Donovan to sue. On Friday, Orleans Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout made her decision, ordering owner Andre “Mike” Desautels to comply with the mask mandate if he wants his store to continue. The store potentially faces up to $1,000 per day fines.

A handful of states have been getting rid of their mask mandates, including in Florida, Texas and Mississippi. The academic journal Annals of Internal Medicine has reported that in a large randomized clinical trial, surgical masks failed to protect mask wearers against coronavirus infection.

The coronavirus continues to be near harmless to non-elderly and relatively healthy people. The Sun reports that in England just 388 people under age 60 who didn’t have existing health conditions had died from the coronavirus through December.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Public domain and Michael Bielawski/TNR

11 thoughts on “Social justice themed Youth Council, hospital firearms ban, mask rebellion, ‘free’ school lunches, and more

  1. Advice from Kids……..A tale of two standards and more.

    The judge ruled that the State mandating wearing a mask is constitutional……Failure to obey this mandate could result in the former Newport UPS store being fined up to $1,000 a day. Apparently, the judge’s ruling relates to protecting against covid and the public safety of all.

    On the other hand, the students at UVM are up in arms…… Again…….. This time it’s because the University has established a set of rules to protect all on campus from covid…..Rules and thinking, one would presume, would be consistent with the judge’s ruling on the mask mandate that is based on protecting the safety of all.

    The operator of the Newport store is threatened and punished for not following the covid rules while the UVM students rebel with thousands signing a petition against UVM and its president for having to follow covid rules established to protect all. This sends the UVM administration scrambling to meet the demands of the students…….Under H.293 the student’s demands would deemed to be simply providing advice.

    These are the very same students who are also attacking the UVM administration for cutting back liberal arts courses resulting in staff layoffs in order to control escalating costs and tuition and fee expenses……Again, these are the very same students who are also demanding that student loan debt be canceled because they can’t afford to repay the money they borrowed to pay for the high cost of attending UVM in the first place.

    Oh, there’s more……These are the same students along with other kids that the Vermont Legislature wants to put on a State Youth Council (H.293) to provide advice on policies.

    Our representatives in Montpelier may want to recall Kamala Harris’ view on kids…….”They’re stupid, they’re stupid. That’s why we put them in dormitories. That’s why there are RAs to supervise them, because they’re stupid.” Advice from Vice President Harris that Montpelier may want to consider before making H.293 law.

  2. Back again. Neither the governor, the legislature or the judge have the right, to take away a right given to the people by the constitution. Unless they go through the proper procedures to change the constitution. They also do not have the right to give away their powers as described in the constitution, like setting up an unelected commission to make rules and asses fees. This state’s elected reps are running amok stomping on the constitution of the state and the country.

  3. S.30 another piece of legislative foolery, does anyone under the Golden Doom, yes
    I mean ” doom “, have any common sense or even think things through ??

    Before S.30 I believe that Hospitals all ready had postings stating ” No Firearms ”
    so why is this the talking point in the contrived bill, Oh yeah ….. agenda ..$$.

    So all law-abiding Vermonters following their constitutional right to carry a firearm
    and as stated within these postings under S.30 a person taken to a hospital and
    not under their normal faculties, and a firearm is found on your person, under this
    boondoggle you can become a felon for ” felony trespassing ” and the Vermont
    Senate Judiciary Committee concurs with this nonsense !!…

    Wake up Vermonters, constitution or not, they’ll try and take them one way or another
    and yes, you could have a felony record, along with those that never follow the laws.

    Wake up people, vote these fools out, they are nothing but a cancer on your rights.

  4. That will put the criminal at ease as now he is sure that there is no armed person in the hospital. If it becomes expanded to public buildings and other prohibited places, the criminal can kill anyone anywhere without worrying about being shot at. Way to go Left wing dingbats.

  5. The madness continues in the state of Vermont that the hands of the liberal wackos and some of the rinos that hold hands with them.

    The ability to protect yourself should be available anywhere you go.

    Maybe some of these people that are enacting these laws should pay attention to where people are being attacked by their buddies..

    Isn’t it apparent to them that these attacks take place anywhere.

    Isn’t it a parent to them that the rule of law is not followed by criminals as was evidenced by the refusal of people who took over battery Park in Burlington Vermont.

    Why do the hard-working law-abiding taxpayers in the state of Vermont bear the brunt of criminal activity that they are not involved in?

    This is an attack on our constitutional and our god-given rights by these corrupt politicians that have taken an oath to defend our constitution.

    When are vermonters going to wake up and finally do something about cleaning house under the golden dome in Montpelier.

    We have had one gentleman step up to have these people called out for violating their oath of office and everyone continues to turn a blind eye.

    We are being destroyed from within.

  6. Guns in hospitals:

    Think about this folks: you carry a concealed firearm for personal protection, and you get into an automobile accident. You are knocked unconscious and are transported to the hospital. While being examined by the medical team, they find that you are carrying a firearm, which, under Article 16 of the VT. Constitution, is your god given right. This new legislation, S.30, would make it a chargeable offense to bring a gun inside a hospital, possibly a felony, even if by accident. In the end you may be able to get some relief in the court system, but it may well cost you tens-of-thousands of dollars in legal fees to extricate yourself from the matter.

    Phil Baruth and Dick Sears have lost their moral compass or maybe their minds, or both. There have been no incidents that my research found that show the presence of firearms occur, even sporadically in hospitals in Vermont. All Hospitals in Vermont are currently posted with signage that states, NO WEAPONS ALLOWED. If a nut case decides he is going to carry a weapon into a Hospital to commit a vulgar nefarious act, you can bet your life he could give a rats A_ _ about prohibition signage at the door. Bank robbery, murder, assault, domestic violence, even speeding, etc. are all prohibited acts with severe penalties, yet they happen every day by societal miscreants. Not law-abiding citizens. NO SIGNAGE HAS EVER DETERRED bad guys from carrying out their mission.

    This is just more people control, disguised as gun control, by the left wingers. Every year they throw a bunch of firearm prohibitions against the walls of the legislature to see what sticks. Every year they so aptly continue to chip away at our rights with no historical justification that there is even a problem. They continue to dampen, curtail or downright block our constitutional rights. The liberal courts in Vermont, with regularity, support these “Progressive intrusions” that have repeatedly amounted to zero measurable benefits. Most likely because there was never a problem to begin with.

    When are people going to get sick of this and vote these people out of office? This bill (S.30) has had at least two Judiciary hearings and a presentation to the full Senate. What a waste of time and taxpayer dollars with all the COVID lifeline and financial pressures every citizen is enduring.

    What a sad situation………..

  7. RE the youth council, That’s all we need is a bunch of youth corps Gretta Thornbergs running around the state whining and complaining about not being called their preferred pronoun. And they will all be directed and coached by some marxist on how to do it.

  8. In the 1905 Supreme Court Jacobson decision, the court ruled that Henning Jacobson had to pay a $5 fine for refusing the smallpox vaccine during an epidemic in Cambridge, MA. The court determined that the fine– equivalent to about $150 today– wasn’t oppressive, but in its decision it warned against measures that might be, as states negotiated public health concerns against individual liberties. The court warned states against overstepping their police powers. It assumed that future courts would step in to remedy any such wrongs.

    We all know what happened after that, so I won’t review how these warnings were set aside and oppressive measures were later enacted throughout the world under the guise of “medical necessity”; i.e., for the general good of society. We seem to have forgotten all of that sordid history and the central role that supposed medical “science” played in it.

    $1000/day fine for refusing to comply with a mask mandate when there’s not one single, good study that demonstrates that these masks do any significant good? Even if there were such a study, such a fine for such a paltry offense flies in the face of the liberty upon which our country was founded. It’s oppression, pure and simple.

    • “”

      corroborates your remarks… this was published today! Not from American MSM!

      Starting to look like a total hoax…

    • It should be clear as crystal by now that masks have accomplished nothing. The fall “wave” of Covid was three times as bad as the first one, despite a mask mandate with strong compliance among most citizens. If you rule out increased testing and go strictly by positivity rates, it’s basically the same pre- and post-mandate. Statistically, then, masks are worthless. The belief in their effectiveness is pure faith unsupported by real-world data.

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