A letter from Rep. Leslie Goldman

Dear Editor,

My first meeting with constituents was Saturday, Feb. 6. I must say it was one of the most fun hours I have spent in my first four weeks as a legislator! Fourteen people were in the Zoom room and our conversation was moderated by my legislative aide Alexis Drown.

People attended from Athens, Brookline, Grafton, and Rockingham. The advantage of Zoom, of course, was that no one had to drive on a Saturday morning – although, we did take a brief moment to imagine that we were at Moon Dog Cafe, MKT, or one of our libraries. I am really looking forward to a time, likely in the summer, when we all have had our immunizations and can start reconnecting in person. It will be interesting to see how we can combine the best of Zoom with the best of being together.

We reviewed the status of legislation introduced this session. Of the over 200 bills introduced so far, only a small percentage will actually be acted upon. We discussed the bills that I have signed onto, including H.94, the Transportation Modernization Act aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from the Vermont transportation sector – 44% of greenhouse gas emissions come from this sector, the worst in New England. I am also supporting H.171, an act that expands eligibility and funding for our early education childcare system. Covid-19 has shown us how important early childhood education is to our children, our families, and our economy.

We reviewed bills that are being evaluated in Health Care, the committee I serve on. The major one is reimbursing clinicians for telephone visits at the same rate as in-person visits once the pandemic has passed. This is a complicated question, which takes into account broadband access, transportation in rural areas, and health equity. For those who want to learn more, the Legislative website is an excellent resource for any and all bills moving through the fourteen committees of the House.

We discussed how I can help constituents gain access to state government and to my colleagues in the House who are experts in their specific committee’s subject matter. If you or someone you know has an issue or a question, please contact me at lgoldman@leg.state.vt.us or call 802-869-2989.

The major part of our hour was spent discussing questions from constituents, which ranged from affordable housing to weatherization to problems with teacher pensions. The conversation was interesting, lively, and really helpful to me in understanding people’s concerns. One topic that came up was “crossover” which is an important time for legislation moving between the House and Senate. We will discuss this topic at our next meeting as well as address questions submitted on my website. Also, we will continue our conversation about issues and will explore questions that arise at the meeting.

Thanks to those who could make it on Saturday! Our next constituent meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27, from 10 to 11 a.m., via Zoom. Please go to my website, www.LeslieGoldmanVT.com, to register for our next Zoom conversation, and to sign up to receive my newsletter.


Leslie Goldman

Bellows Falls, Vt.

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