Posts from the ‘Housing & Military Affairs’ Category
February 21, 2016
Because the General Assembly meets in the winter and early spring, legislators face a number of chronic issues that frame our work, especially when there is a cold snap, as there was this past weekend. One of them is homelessness. Homelessness is an uncomfortable subject because it means that a number of Vermonters are not sharing in any economic stability that others are, or it means that we, as Vermonters, have not committed to ending homelessness among the poor, elderly, or disabled. Perhaps there are military veterans who cannot find work or housing. And perhaps there are families with children who are forced to live where they can, without the stability that will help them at work and school. Whoever they are, when it gets dangerously cold, as it did this past weekend, we seek to get them off the street and into shelter so that we don’t have to report that people are freezing to death on the streets, or alleys, or in tents.
While I miss the snow this winter, I am relieved that overnight temperatures have been milder than in recent years. Last year, the state offered shelter every night from mid-November 2014 until late March 2015. We may not have seen many homeless individuals in the Waterbury area, but in Burlington, Rutland, Barre, Montpelier, Brattleboro and other towns, we spent nearly $4 million on temporary shelter, which were primarily hotel rooms or shelters. It would have been more had some folks not couch-surfed, and it would have been more still had some organizations not made investments in new temporary housing, some of which provided the necessary social services to help them get back on their feet and into permanent housing. Read more
March 1, 2013
Here is a draft of our 2013 Town Meeting Report. It has been an auspicious beginning to the session, and this report is just a thumbnail sketch of the work we have been able to do thus far. We will be exceedingly busy in the week after our Town Meeting break, as we will reach our crossover date on the Friday after we return. This is the time when all House bills intended for the Senate must be passed out of committee and vice versa. Much of the information in this report reflects the House’s work on these issues. More work will be done in the Senate before it is returned to us and, perhaps, on to the Governor for his signature.
In other words, stay tuned.
If you do not see an issue you are interested addressed within, be assured that we will provide updates on all of them as the session moves along.