House, Senate agree to Zoom for next two weeks

by Guy Page

Footage from today’s House proceedings show how non-legislators will see the Vermont House for the next two weeks, at least – from three camera angles while it meets remotely due to Omicron variant concerns.

By Guy Page

On its first day back in session, the Vermont House today voted 106 yes, 19 no to meet remotely via Zoom until January 18.

The Senate also agreed to two weeks of remote lawmaking. The vote on HR13 was billed as a compromise of the House/Senate Joint Rules Committee. Some members favored meeting remotely for as long as necessary, given the age of many lawmakers, the need for large groups of people to meet indoors for sometimes hours on end, and advances in remote participation technology at the State House. Opponents pointed to new, safer social distancing measures at the State House, and said lawmakers shouldn’t be working remotely while some constituents are on the job in public, high-transmission places. The committee eventually voted unanimously to recommend the Legislature meet remotely for two weeks, and then revisit the decision on January 18.

One prominent critic of State House Covid-19 restrictions says she’s heard “let’s wait two weeks” before – at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Two weeks to flatten the curve was a year and a half ago,” Rep. Vicki Strong (R-Albany) said in explanation of her “no” vote. “Let’s represent our constituents here in person, without restriction.”

Another Republican said he’ll go along with remote legislating – but won’t do so again. 

“I voted yes out of respect for minority leadership to achieve compromise,” Rep. James Gregoire (R-Fairfield) said. “However, we must not continue to hold this body above those we represent, those who go to work everyday…..this is especially true given the extraordinary efforts  to which leadership has gone to make sure that our workplace is safe. I will not vote to extend remote legislating in the future.”

A Williston Democrat went all Latin on his House colleagues in explaining his ‘yes’ vote.

“I voted for HR 13 with the intention of avoiding, not creating, a legislative annus horribilis [horrible year],” Rep. Jim McCullough said. 

Those who voted no – all Republicans, except former Republican and now independent Paul Lefebvre of the Northeast Kingdom town of Newark – were:

Achey of Middletown Springs

Brennan of Colchester

Graham of Williamstown

Higley of Lowell

Lefebvre of Newark

Lefebvre of Orange

Leffler of Enosburgh

Martel of Waterford

Mattos of Milton

Morgan of Milton

Morgan of Milton

Page of Newport City

Parsons of Newbury

Peterson of Clarendon

Rosenquist of Georgia

Scheuermann of Stowe

Seymour of Sutton

Terenzini of Rutland Town

Strong of Albany.

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12 replies »

  1. Is anybody else here old enough to remember a children’s TV show called Zoom ? Ah I can see the exuberance in these lilly livered politicians after passing this, and the realization that they can draw a paycheck from the security of their homes again this year dancing around singing the theme song from a kid’s show. We’re gonna zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re gonna zooma, zooma, zoom, zoom, zoom !. Everybody sing along with me !

    • Excuse me Rmc, but we have 150 Representatives + 30 Senators = 180 in Montpelier. What we really need is a complete redo of, and a periodic flushing (term limits) of all those under the “Golden Dumb” and the “public servant” in the office on the 5th floor of 109 State St. If Term limits are a good idea for the POTUS, why is it not a good idea for everybody, from the local school board, to the U.S. Senate ? JMO

  2. So the staff at our grocery, convenience, hardware and big box stores continue to come to work as they have been doing the past 2 years, despite the daily exposure to customers and germs, but our pampered legislators are too terrified to be in the same room with each other?

    I have an idea; end the 2020 legislative session right now before they cause any more damage to Vermont and use the money they would have been paid for something useful like fixing our roads!

    • My kingdom for an edit button Guy! Make that the 2022 legislative session; just feels like 2020 again!

  3. 99% va**ed and they are hiding in their basements? Dr Levine, if the makers of these fine shots reported 95% efficacy and safety, when will YOU be reporting the true numbers after one year of real time data?

  4. They refuse to meet at the State House because they fear the people confronting them. They are criminals and they are communists. They won’t return to the State House as they will not face the people who know they are communists/globalists.

  5. Not unexpected. The self generated fear broadcast from legislative leaders makes remote legislation a must to keep the illusion and fear narrative going.
    Vigilance will be required to watch what these socialist big government legislators will push thru under cover of darkness.

    • Hi Keith, I guess that all towns are different, but in my case, (town) there are more lefty loons per capita than there are in Montpelier even when legislature is in session ! If it wasn’t for the few good ole Vermont natives that I do associate with, I’d be on the next train south.

  6. And schools with hundred of children that have adults around them will be in school on the front lines despite the leaders example .

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