This year, the Vermont Legislature has hit the ground running.
Throughout the fall most members were hard at work helping their communities recover from Hurricane Irene.
Fortunately, Lamoille County sustained little damage when compared to the southern part of the state, although Johnson did lose its grocery store.
I have been working with Lea Kilvadyova and our local, state, and federal officials to find a solution to the grocery store problem in Johnson.
Although it’s in the flood plain, the site of the old Grand Union in the heart of the village is still the best location for a store.
We are working hard to find funding to flood-proof the present building. I will keep working on this until we can find an acceptable resolution.
In the State House, Speaker Smith asked me to change committee assignments and join the Committee on Healthcare.
Healthcare has been a passion of mine for the last 16 years.
I served for six years on the Board of Directors of Lamoille Home Health and Hospice, five years on the board of Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley, and just finished 11 years on the Board of Copley Hospital and Health Systems.
I am very excited to be a part of Vermont’s efforts to reform our healthcare system.
As you may know, last year legislation (Act 48) to move Vermont toward a more rational system of healthcare delivery was enacted.
The Committee on Healthcare will be working to ensure that we achieve the goal of affordable and universal high quality healthcare for Vermonters.
I am convinced that our present model is unsustainable. Just last week I was notified by my health insurance company that my premium will be increasing by 14% in February. This is an issue that affects us all.
I am always happy to see the tradition of JSC students in the State House for professor Doyle’s classes. As I write this I sit in a room with two JSC graduates who are now senators and I am a 1980 alumni.
As always I am deeply honored to be representing the citizens of Johnson and Eden. Please feel free to call me at 635-7166.