As you read this, the Vermont Legislature is in its second week of the 2019-2020 biennium. In the three days of the first week, members of the House of Representatives took their oath of office and were assigned to new or returning committees. Freshmen legislators went through the lottery of being assigned seats in the House Chamber. All members took part in sessions dealing with statehouse/legislator security and sexual harassment. And members honored those former legislators who had passed away since the last session.

Gov. Phil Scott gave his second inaugural address on the second day of the session. The governor thanked the people of Vermont for the opportunity to continue to serve the State and “for their trust and support as we carry out the work ahead.” The governor asked for collaboration “to address Vermont’s most significant challenges.” He quoted former United States Sen. Jim Jeffords who said, “In no other job do you have both the freedom and obligation to solve problems and help people on a daily basis.” The governor asked House and Senate members in attendance to “put aside our differences to work together, come together, to solve problems and help people each and every day.”

In their efforts to help the people of Vermont, your five Essex legislators were assigned to the following committees: Dylan Giambatista will return the Education Committee; Lori Houghton will return to the Health Care Committee; Robert Bancroft has been moved from the Transportation Committee to the Commerce and Economic Development Committee; and new member Marybeth Redmond has been assigned to the Human Services Committee.

I have the honor of being assigned to the Appropriations Committee. As a member of the tax-writing committee for the House, I will be spending five days a week in Montpelier (instead of the usual four days most members work) hearing tax proposals from the governor’s administration and monetary proposals that come from the various committees of the Legislature. We will present the state budget to the full House around mid-March, the “Big Bill” as it is referred to, which will then go to the Senate, and will return to the House at some point to reconcile differences between the House and Senate numbers.

I am always happy to answer any questions about what is happening in Montpelier or with issues you may have. I look forward to hearing from you. You can call me at 878-3514 and leave a message, or email me at:, or I will get back to you as soon as I can. I appreciate the faith you have given me to represent you in Montpelier for the past 17 years, and I will work diligently to maintain your trust.