Another Opinion, Editorial

New Legislative Session Begins

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by Katherine Sims, State Representative, Orl-4

CRAFTSBURY – I’m excited to kick off the 2023 legislative session this week. We’re fully in-person at the statehouse this year, and we’ll continue live-streaming committee hearings and floor action.
The legislature will be tackling some really tough issues this year: childcare, education finance, housing, workforce development, and climate action. The era of federal stimulus for Covid recovery is ending so we’ll need to work creatively to address our challenges and fund our programs in a fiscally responsible and sustainable way.
Small, rural towns like the ones in our district are disproportionately impacted by limited resources. This session, I’m dedicated to ensuring all towns have equitable access to opportunities to help them thrive.
I’ll do this by honoring my commitments as your representative: I’ll listen and make informed decisions, advocate for our communities, keep you up to date about what’s happening, and answer your questions.
I’m taking your voice with me to the statehouse so we can create a Vermont that works for everyone.
First things first: Our first order of business after the swearing in ceremony was to elect Jill Krowinski as Speaker of the House for another term. Then the Speaker announced committee chairs and committee assignments. With 50 new members and significant turnover among committee chairs, I’m excited for a session marked by change and full of opportunity.
My new roles: I was assigned to the Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for matters related to revenues and taxes. This assignment means I can influence a variety of bills affecting Vermonters.
In December, I was elected co-chair of the Rural Caucus along with Rep. Laura Sibilia (I) and Rep. Lisa Hango (R). This group collaborates to advance policy that strengthens and supports Vermont’s rural communities and economy.
Your feedback: Thank you to the more than 100 people who filled out my priorities poll! Your top five issues were: housing (40%), climate action (39%), education (38%), broadband & cell service (34%), and healthcare (29%). Your priorities are my priorities and your feedback will help guide my work in the coming session.
Keep in touch: Please join me for office hours on the second Sunday of each month from 4 to 5 p.m., via Zoom as a way to stay in touch, get answers to your questions, and share your ideas and concerns. You can sign up for the zoom link on my website at Reach out anytime with questions or concerns.
[Katherine Sims is the State Representative, Orl-4, serving Albany, Craftsbury, Glover and Greensboro.]

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