At the end of November, I joined almost three dozen newly-elected and veteran legislators for a three-day Snelling Center for Government New Member Orientation at the statehouse in Montpelier.
The event began with a General Assembly Legislative Briefing session that included updates on Vermont’s new health care initiative, Green Mountain Care, and a Mental Health Systems update; FEMA and Irene Recovery; national economic trends; and the status of Vermont’s current revenue/budget. The orientation also included an entertaining tour and history of the statehouse; legislative information technology; presentations from first term and former legislators as well as committee and political caucus chairs; introduction of the Office of Legislative Council Staff and an overview of the bill drafting process; parliamentary procedure and bill amending, recording and notice process; ethical decision making; briefing from the National Conference of State legislators; Joint Fiscal Office staff introductions and presentations; a meeting with media representatives; and seminars with the Executive and Judicial Branches of government.
I was impressed by the knowledgeable, supportive and professional statehouse staff and look forward to working with them and my new colleagues when the session starts on January 9th. The training was certainly an integral step in preparing legislators to make informed decisions about our capital budget and in crafting legislation that improves Vermonters’ lives.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or comments at CWeed@leg.state.vt.us.
Representative-elect Cindy Weed