On May 30, we in the US traditionally celebrated Decoration Day, (or Memorial Day as we now call it), and I can recall spending time decorating graves in the local cemeteries with my family and scout troops, as well as participating in parades to honor those who served our nation and didn’t return. Although we aren’t able to do as much this year, marking this holiday is no less important. Those veterans who gave their lives in service, and the families they left behind, have my gratitude for fighting for our rights and freedoms.
Most of this week in Committee was spent grappling with the complexities of housing solutions for the nearly 2000 individuals who are at risk of homelessness at the end of this State of Emergency. It is our job to help craft legislation to protect and assist that population within the framework set forth by the Administration and the housing funding allotment from the CARES Act. We will continue this challenging work throughout next week, and our meetings are available on YouTube livestream on the General, Housing, and Military Affairs webpage.
Another wave of relief is coming in the form of the Economic Recovery Bill, which the Administration, advocates, and the Legislature together are working on. All committees in the House and Senate will have a say in their portion of the bill, and their discussions will all be live-streamed on YouTube.
On the House floor, we successfully voted out the Capital bill and the T-bill (Transportation) after much discussion. We also voted on a miscellaneous alcoholic beverage committee bill and a Resolution extending the House Legislative State of Emergency to June 30. The Education Tax Yield Bill was debated, and it will come up for third reading next week. The Ways and Means Committee was firm in their belief that taxpayers should know what their rate is by allowing towns to send out property tax bills in a timely manner, and they did not want to put the burden of the COVID-19 Education response onto the backs of property owners. There is still great hope that the CARES Act and other Federal money will be a factor in filling in the Ed Fund deficit.
Wednesday afternoon’s meeting of NOTCH and the partners in the Main St Market LLC brought good news, as they are committed to continuing the operation of the grocery store in Richford for the health and well-being of our community. There has been tremendous work done to keep a grocery store available and viable, and they are to be commended for their dedication to seeing this project through.
Economic recovery will depend on communities putting their resources together and finding new partnerships to work efficiently to provide jobs and services, and this is a great example of how that can be done.
Representative Lisa A Hango Berkshire-Richford-Franklin-Highgate