Gov. Phil Scott on Friday acknowledged the pain of closing in-person schools for the rest of the year but said the step was necessary to mitigate the effects of a growing statewide pandemic.
Committee Chair Sen. Dick Sears today called domestic abuse “Vermont’s number one crime problem.” Covid-19 will make it worse in several ways, Judiciary learned. Solutions will require more state spending.
As state lawmakers contemplate two prison reform bills in Montpelier, the former chief of the Manchester Police Department is advising that elected representatives should listen as much to crime victims as to the perpetrators.
Senate will vote Tuesday on meeting and voting remotely, expanding unemployment insurance and telemedicine, and extending the DMV renewal deadline.
Safe to say the Legislature is only thinking COVID-19 right now. Too soon to say if or when that will change. The Senate plans to reconvene Tuesday but apparently only to address emergency climate change legislation passed a week ago Friday by the House.
Some recent environmental and fiscal decisions made by Vermont state government are being rethought, or at least second-guessed, due to the coronavirus.
Legislation discussed and agreed upon during a Senate Government Operations Committee teleconference today would waive the state’s Open Meeting Law requirement for government bodies to meet in one physical location.
Despite this week’s closure of the Vermont State House, most Vermont Senate committees are scheduled to meet this week via remote access. The public is welcome to attend remotely as well.
The weeklong break will give time for a thorough cleaning of the State House and will give legislative leaders a chance to consider the next move.
The Vermont Legislature Joint Rules Committee decided late this afternoon to ask staffers to prepare a resolution for its review tomorrow to recess the Legislature and close the State House for a week due to the coronavirus.
Jim Sexton, of Essex Junction, sought to get the sponsors of H.610 removed from the State House because they “violated their oath of office by expressly trying to make a law which denies every Vermonter the presumption of innocence” and “denies legal gun owners the constitutional right to bear arms.”