Legislature Reconvenes, Remote-Voting coming for the House
The Vermont Senate reconvened yesterday to vote on amendments to House Covid-19 response bills passed on March 13th. You can find a summary of some of that House Covid response legislation in this post from a week ago. Here's an article about the Senate's work yesterday. While the Senate met in the building, most House members were absent and there was only a token session with no one present. Today the House will hold a session with leadership from all parties and members of the House Rules Committee. During this unusual session, an emergency declaration will be issued, and the House Rules will be amended to allow for remote voting.
This drastic and unprecedented move to allow remote voting is necessary in order to enact bills that are responsive to the immediate crisis and to allow for the completion of the annual budget. I anticipate that the bills taken up in this remote voting format will be limited to those deemed fundamental to either the crisis response efforts and/or core state operations. All other bills would not be taken up unless we return in person to the Statehouse.
House committee meetings started again today in five committees, and another four committees will start meeting on Thursday. These meetings are available to watch as a youtube live stream, linked from https://legislature.vermont.gov. Meetings of the House will also be available online, once remote meeting begins.
We will know more after today (Wednesday) but I think remote voting rules for the House will be approved this afternoon, and that all committees will be working remotely by tomorrow and Friday. In the meantime, today is the start of Governor Scott's stay at home order, so there is lot happening at once. Please reach out as always for a conversation or to share ideas.