State Government

Committee favors legislative live-streaming, room capacity limits

Legislative Advisory Committee

No vaccination requirement

by Guy Page

A straw poll taken by a legislative committee today favors continued live-streaming committee meetings and restricting the number of people in committee rooms.

The Legislative Advisory Committee on the State House is charged with studying alternatives and making recommendations for State House operation in the post-pandemic era. The committee has been meeting regularly, trying to address sometimes competing needs of health, safety, and public access. Its recommendations will be forwarded to a decision-making committee later this year.

In particular, the committee is concerned about the health impact of big crowds in small committee rooms. Some rooms already had serious ventilation and air quality problems before the pandemic heightened concern about airborne transmission of disease.

Senate Health and Welfare Committee Room

After considerable in-person discussion in Room 11 of the State House, the committee today agreed informally to continue livestreaming committee meetings. There was consensus that many reporters and other members of the public would choose to watch on-line.

There was also general agreement to limit the number of people in committee rooms to the room’s official physical capacity. The only dissenter was Hartland House member John Bartholomew.

“There is no way to be safe from the spread of infectious disease,” the retired veterinarian and public health expert said. “It’s a false sense of security.”

He also raised a question voiced by others: who decides who stays and who goes? “Who’s gonna be in there? It sounds like a mess,” Bartholomew said.

Capacity limits could cause tension, one senator speculated.

“Anne Galloway and [another reporter] walk into the room at the same time. What do you do?,” Sen. Joe Benning R-Caledonia) asked.

“Duck,” Chair Alice Emmons (D-Springfield) quipped. The committee laughed but the point was made: forcing anyone to leave would be awkward.

Emmons said the straw poll was only an expression of direction, and that details and questions remain unaddressed.

The committee decided at a previous meeting to not require vaccination for entry into the State House. No decision on requiring masks has been made.

Categories: State Government

5 replies »

  1. They can’t do as much harm if they don’t meet. Take a year off, Vermont will be better off for it.

    In light of the recent “vaccinated” staffers becoming ill after meeting with the allegedly “vaccinated” renegade Texas democrat legislators, it appears that a whole lot of people in Washington are lying.
    Either these people were not vaccinated as they claim, or the vaccine doesn’t work as advertised.
    Psaki will need to do a bunch of “circling back” to talk her way out of this one. As for Vermont’s legislature- Not legislating will mean no Covid in the state house. It’s a win for Vermont.

  2. Legislators like those we have in VT are concerned about one thing only: Keep the people out of the government. “Of, by, and for the people ended completely with the fraudulent election of 2021.

  3. Don’t trust them ! There is nothing like in person oversight. As long as they have mute buttons, telephones, and it’s acceptable for them to step away from the camera to deal with children, dogs, or to go to the bathroom, whatever, when they are out of sight, and, or hearing, that is not the way legislature is meant to function. The process is meant to be transparent, and completely beyond a doubt, or question as to how decisions are arrived at. If I am interested in a particular issue I should be sure to be there in a timely enough manner as to be able to witness, and participate in the process. If Anne Galloway is not there in a timely enough manner to participate in person, she, or anybody else should be able to participate on line. (Zoom) Regardless, committee meetings and the rooms should be as accessible as is legally possible. Oversight, oversight, oversight ! They need it, and we are owed it !

  4. They don’t show up in Montpelier, they do not get any reimbursements for food, travel or lodging. It’s time for a pay cut and the free ride on the taxpayers dime is over. If they want to sit home and legislate, no more expense reimbursements. It’s a volunteer legislature, so minimal compensation for time and nothing more.

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