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Legislative Notes for February 24, 2011

February 20, 2011

The healthcare reform proposal, jobs bill and budget deficit continue to dominate the discussion around the Statehouse.  However, on Thursday we received the physician assisted suicide/death with dignity bill.  It was assigned to the Human Services committee to be vetted.  This emotionally charged issue had created much interest before it was introduced and is surely going to create an adversarial atmosphere at the Statehouse.  I believe that this issue will begin to dominate the discussion after the Town Meeting break, creating a distraction that may provide the necessary cover for raising taxes or taking away your rights to healthcare choice.

The House passed several bills this week.  One bill pertained to requiring licensed electricians to perform electrical work in single family homes.  Currently performing this work in a single family home does not require an individual to have an electricians license.  This bill allows the owner to perform his/her own work within the home  but, would require a licensed electrician if they choose to have someone else do the work.  Several members expressed concern and the bill was debated quite heavily on the floor.  People felt that the single family home should remain exempt from licensing requirements.  I was torn on this bill because I definitely want to preserve individuals rights but, I am also very concerned about the life safety of the occupants.  In the end, the bill passed.  I voted on the side of life safety and supported the bill.

The Commerce and Economic Development committee continues to work on the Governor proposed  job creation bill.  The Veteran’s unemployment piece of the bill was removed from the bigger bill to expedite its passage.  This bill will provide tax credits to employers that hire unemployed Veterans and retain them for at least one year.  I support this bill and we passed it out of committee on a unanimous vote of support.

Town Manager Brian Palaia and Town Clerk John Cushing joined Ron and I at the Statehouse on Wednesday this week.  We surprised John by having a Resolution prepared and read in his honor.  It commemorated his forty years of service to our town and acknowledged the award he recently received.  Hosting friends at the Statehouse is one of the things I enjoy most about serving in the legislature.  If you would like to visit the Statehouse please feel free to contact me to arrange a date and time.

As your representative, I look forward to representing you and your concerns in Montpelier.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. I am very interested in hearing from you.  During the session, I can be reached at the Statehouse by calling 1-800-322-5616 or by cell at 373-5960. My email address is My web-site address is Thank you and have a great week.


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