By Kari Dolan, D-Waitsfield
It is an honor to have another opportunity to represent Duxbury, Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield and Warren in the Vermont House of Representatives. I am grateful to have been alongside Rep. Maxine Grad for the past four years, and I thank Maxine for her over two decades of work that benefitted our communities and Vermonters statewide. I now very much look forward to collaborating with our new state representative for our district, Dara Torre, D-Moretown, on issues that are important to our communities.
The state Legislature convened on January 4 for year one of the 2023-2024 Legislative Biennium (the term that refers to the two-year legislative session for passing legislation.) I am thrilled to be assigned to the House Appropriations Committee – the committee that examines, hears testimony on, and approves the state’s budget. This committee meets five days per week and into the evening hours, so I am getting ready for some long days ahead. It is important to note that the Vermont Legislature always passes a balanced budget, even though we do not have a statutory requirement to do so.
I plan to continue participating in a number of issue-based working groups called caucuses. These caucuses help me to focus on issues that are important to our region, including the Rural Economic Development Working Group (which now includes a focus on tourism and our recreation-based economy), the Older Vermonters’ Caucus, Social Justice Caucus, and the Climate Solutions Caucus; my role in the latter caucus is to continue to focus on flood resiliency needs of our communities.
I will pull together information on the Legislature’s activities in future reports. In the meantime, here are some helpful state resources:
- Business and Child Care:
- Supporting business launches and economic development, https://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/funding-incentives.
- Agriculture and forestry businesses, https://workinglands.vermont.gov/grant-contract-opportunities/arpa-primary-producer-impact-grant.
- Child care financial assistance. https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/ccfap.
- Funding and incentives to expand our supply of housing, https://accd.vermont.gov/housing/funding.
- First Generation Homebuyer Grant, https://www.vhfa.org/homebuyers/First-Generation-Homebuyer-Grant-Program.
- Emergency rental assistance, https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/reachup/RUERA.
- Help with Heating to keep warm this winter, https://buttonupvermont.org/.
- Help putting healthy food on your table, https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/3SquaresVT.
- Support for Internet services, https://publicservice.vermont.gov/affordable-connectivity-program.
- Help with utility bills, https://publicservice.vermont.gov/help-utility-bills-renters.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me and let me know what is on your mind: