The Start of a New Biennium

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Jan 18, 2013 No Comments ››

Read in full at the Waterbury Record

It is exciting to be back at the State House. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. I am deeply moved each time I step into the well of the House and am grateful for the trust you put in me as your representative. I will use this update to explain the legislative process and how to become involved.

First, congratulations to Harwood’s I Cantori for its beautiful performance at the governor’s inauguration. I was so proud to have them be a part of Vermont history.

In the first year of a new session (biennium), a new speaker of the House is elected. His or her job, in part, is to appoint committees to consider bills and create policy. Any bills that didn’t pass last session need to be introduced and considered all over again.

The House again elected Rep. Shap Smith of Morrisville as speaker. Speaker Smith appointed House committees on the first day of the session so we can start our work. Committee appointments are based on a legislator’s experience, interest, skills and needs of the committee. Until Speaker Smith served, such early committee appointments were rare. I think the early appointments set the tone for a hardworking session that will focus on very challenging issues. I will continue to serve as the vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee. I am pleased with this appointment, as I want to continue my leadership on community safety issues, human rights and ensuring Vermonters have access to justice.

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