Statehouse Headliners: New Franklin County House member named; bills would remove religious exemption for immunization, tax churches

By Guy Page

Lisa Hango, of Potato Hill Road, Enosburg Falls, has been appointed by Gov. Phil Scott to fill the House District Franklin-5 seat vacated by Joshua Aldrich. The newest member of the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee took her seat for the first time Thursday, Feb. 14.

Aldrich, a Republican, resigned several weeks after being elected in November. Hango and Democrat Charen Fegard will serve the two-seat “northern border” district covering Berkshire, Franklin, Highgate and Richford. Despite Hango’s Enosburg mailing address, her bio on the Legislative Website lists her as a resident of Berkshire.

Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare, and Physicians, Families & Friends for a Better Vermont.

“Lisa has dedicated a great deal of time to supporting her Franklin County community, serving on numerous boards, including the Berkshire school board and now serving as the vice chair of the Northern Mountain Valley Union District,” said Governor Scott in a Feb. 12 statement.

Born and raised in Catskill NY, Lisa graduated as valedictorian of the Catskill High School Class of 1980, and from the University of Vermont in 1984 with a BA in economics. Her post-college career path included employment in the computer, retail sales, and human resources industries in the Boston MA area. She moved with her husband, John, to West Virginia in 1988 and eventually became a stay-at-home parent to four children.

With a move back to Vermont in 1990, Lisa’s role expanded to include volunteer service on committees and boards throughout northeastern Franklin County, as well as substitute teaching in the local schools. Currently, Lisa serves on the Berkshire Town School District Board, as vice chair of the Northern Mountain Valley Unified Union School District Board, the Franklin County Home Health Agency Board, and the Northwestern Medical Center’s board of incorporators.

A pair of unrelated House bills may interest Vermonters concerned with issues of church and state.

H.238, sponsored by Rep. Martin Lalonde and several others legislators, wold eliminate the religious exemption for required immunizations for enrollment into a school or childcare facility. The bill was introduced Feb. 14 and referred to House Judiciary, the committee to where Lalonde is assigned.

The bill amends current law 18 VSA, 1122 regarding vaccinations. The bill would keep in place exemptions for children in the process of being immunized, or if the parent has a statement from a health care provider demonstrating that the child would suffer harm if immunized.

Also, the miscellaneous tax bill under review by the House Ways and Means Committee would require churches, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations to pay a two-cent per gallon tax on heating oil. Current law requires only businesses to pay this tax.

The proposed change — endorsed by the Scott administration and considered highly likely to be adopted — would expand the tax to the above-mentioned not-for-profits, but would exempt state and local government and school districts.

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR

3 thoughts on “Statehouse Headliners: New Franklin County House member named; bills would remove religious exemption for immunization, tax churches

  1. Damned flatlanders, phonies, hypocrits and self proclaimed know-it-alls!!! Always accusing conservatives of wanting to control everything and, as always, this type always accuses others of doing exactly what they themselves are doing. What is this never ending quest to control each and every aspect of the lives of all of us? Disgusting!!! Another one who should have stayed in either NY or Boston.

  2. Great Reporting, great reporting.

    We demand our beef and milk to BST free, but we’ll have to pump our kids full of chemicals by state law, how does this make ANY sense?

    How is it that people who are free, can be forced to put something into their body? Doesn’t that kinda go against the whole liberty thing with the constitution? If we can not control our own body, then clearly we have become slave, serfs, vassals of the state, isn’t that the opposite of freedom?

    How can one not have control of their own body? How can the state control your physical being. It matters not if it’s good or bad, people should have the freedom to choose, more so parents for their own children. Perhaps mr. Lalonde should refresh himself about his sworn duties?

    Clearly some are being schooled, not in what makes this country great, liberty, but in the pc sjw propaganda that the state is all knowing and anything else is to be shunned. As evidenced by his lack of understanding to which the judeo Christian religion is not only a non-profit benefit, but the structural foundation upon which this country is based….but let’s tax it.

    I’ll give him that many have lost their way and others have been influenced by the likes of the Gamaliel foundation and others that bring in sjw teachings that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus and nature itself, but then non-profits aren’t judged upon how well they do are they?

    The more you look, the more you find assaults upon the American way of life, the Vermont way of life.

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