Vermont House passes COVID-19 relief package, remote voting provisions

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Vermont House passes COVID-19 relief package, remote voting provisions

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 7:22pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today the Vermont House gave final approval to H.681 and H.742, the legislature’s COVID-19 relief package. H.681 contains several updates to our elections and open meeting laws to ensure local municipal meetings and state elections can be conducted safely in the current public health crisis. H.742 updates our unemployment insurance program and gives greater flexibility to our health care system to meet the unknown needs we will be facing. Both bills originated in the House and were part of the package passed on March 13, 2020. 

Additionally, the House passed several resolutions today to (1) declare a state of emergency in the Legislative branch, (2) permit committees to vote on legislation remotely and (3) permit the House of Representatives to vote remotely. The House has already begun remote committee meetings via video conference. Live-streaming links are available on the committee pages of the Legislative website. 

“I want to thank the Governor for his leadership and the steps he’s taken to keep Vermonters safe in our current public health crisis,” said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero). “I also want to thank the Senate for their partnership and for working with our committees and chairs to ensure this legislation could move forward swiftly. These bills are critical to our state’s response to COVID-19 and will make a tremendous difference to struggling Vermotners in the coming weeks and months. 

“The resolutions passed today will help provide that the legislature can continue to work on COVID-19 relief and other important issues without risking community spread of the virus. We are in an unprecedented time and do not take these changes to how we conduct business lightly. We will continue working hard for Vermonters in the coming weeks and months to be responsive to their ongoing needs. Every step we take, we must take together.” 

Source: MONTPELIER, VT - Speaker of the House