The House General Committee began this week with a discussion of Joint House Resolution 7, apologizing and expressing sincere condolences to all Vermonters and their families who were harmed as a result of State-sanctioned and eugenically inspired sterilization. We heard from a number of individuals representing affected populations, including Abenaki, French-Canadian, and those with mental and physical disabilities whose family members were subject to involuntary procedures to ensure that they would not procreate. This movement was at its height in the 1930’s with the passage of the 1931 Sterilization Act, after a 1925 Eugenics Survey of Vermont at the University of Vermont. Testimony will continue next week. Other bills of interest that my committee has taken up this week concern retail alcoholic and farm-crafted beverage licensing laws, rental housing rehabilitation, and defining Recovery Residences and their place in our communities. We heard a presentation on the SASH (Support and Services at Home) program, which enables many of our older and/or disabled Vermonters to remain in their homes, and took testimony from Mental Health, Affordable Housing, and Homeless Rights advocates around bills that are in the pipeline. I have continued to follow the progress of several bills that propose to exempt military retirement pay from taxation, something that a large coalition of constituents has written in support of, and safety in work zones, which road workers brought to our attention. Today in Senate Transportation, I sat in on testimony resulting from the death of a young flagger in a traffic accident in a work zone; we must do everything we can to prevent even one of these incidents from happening again on our roadways. Lastly, also on the Transportation front, all of us who commute on I-89 are aware of an impending construction zone at Exit 18 northbound. The AOT and VTRANS have been cooperative and prompt with their updates and answers to our inquiries. They are aware of the large number of commuters from Franklin County who depend on this route, and they will do all that they can to keep it safely open with reduced speeds during the reconstruction process.
It is an honor and a pleasure to serve your interests in the Legislature.
Representative Lisa A Hango