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Start of the 2020 Session Newsletter

Dear Readers and Constituents, 

We are back in Montpelier, and as this is the second year of a two-year biennium, all the bills which were left on the table last May can be picked back up again. Many, including paid family leave and minimum wage will be moving forward soon. Vetoes from the Governor seem likely in some areas, and veto override votes might also occur for the first time in many years. Stay tuned!

In addition to the 2019 bills, there are countless new bills which have been introduced in hopes of speedy passage this year. Any legislation that does not clear both the House and the Senate, and then escape a veto by Governor Scott, will have to be resubmitted in order for consideration in 2021. As a new legislator, this is my first time experiencing the second year of a session. The differences from the first year of the biennium are notable, including a (welcome) lack of pomp and circumstance to get us rolling, and a general feeling of "now or never" which seem to pervade the building. 

Over the coming weeks, I will be writing about the legislation that comes before the House Education Committee, of which I'm a member, as well as highlighting the bills up for debate before the entire House. If you'd like more information on a specific bill, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at celder@leg.state.vt.us. 

Highlight of the Day: The House voted unanimously to approve a Constitutional Amendment which removes language conditionally allowing slavery in the VT Constitution. This is very old language, and while slavery was banned by the Vermont Constitution in almost all instances, there was language remaining that suggested certain types of indentured servitude of minors might still be allowed. This is language that will be amended to read as a ban on slavery, without exception. I'm pleased that a unanimous vote on this amendment occurred on Martin Luther King Day. 

More to come soon! Today Governor Scott will give his budget address, so I'm sure there will be plenty to react to in that speech. 

Sincerely, 

Caleb

Caleb Elder, Rep. Addison - 4