Thank you for keeping in touch throughout Vermont's 2019 legislative session. Over the last 19 weeks I have been immersed in testimony, debate, deliberation and parliamentary procedure. We accomplished a great deal for Vermonters this session to build a stronger, healthier Vermont that works for everyone, not just the select few.
We worked together to build bridges and find our common ground, and as a result accomplished so much this session for Vermonters. We passed a budget without raising new taxes and advanced and a number of bills including some of my priorities to: expand rural broadband; invest in affordable housing and childcare; preserve women’s reproductive liberties; create a permanent funding source for clean water projects; address climate change and invest in workforce training and development. I am very proud of our collective work.
During the final weeks of the session, House and Senate leaders were trying to hash out a compromise on paid family leave and the minimum wage. I’m disappointed the legislature couldn’t work out a deal on these important issues. But it’s not easy—and nor should it be easy—to build consensus among 150 Representatives, 30 Senators and the Governor. In spite of this ending, we accomplished a great deal for Vermonters this session to build a stronger, healthier Vermont.
While we often hear about the issues debated on the floor, so much of our work in the legislature happens in the committee room. I serve on House Corrections and Institutions, where we focus on corrections policy and the capital budget. I believe that budgets and prisons are reflections of our priorities and values, so I have thoroughly enjoyed the work on this committee making fiscal and policy decisions that I believe will help build stronger and healthier communities throughout Vermont. You can read more below.
This blog post is a bit longer than usual as it includes many of the highlights from the session and more details of my work on the House Institutions and Corrections Committee. You can also visit my legislative page at www.legislature.vermont.gov to see the bills I sponsored and how I voted on all the bills that came to the floor.
It has been an honor to represent and serve Guilford and Vernon in the Vermont Assembly this year. In the off-session I will be doing a lot of work with my colleagues around the rural economy and criminal justice and corrections reform. Please be in touch via email SCoffey@leg.state.vt.us if you have any questions or want to discuss your priorities for the legislature when we reconvene in January 2020.
I look forward to hearing from you!