Topics For Upcoming Legislative Session

legislative periodVERMONT-A brief look into Vermont's first legislative session of the new year reveals a glimpse of what issues are thought to take up most of the time.


After speaking with Caledonia County Senators Jane Kitchel and Joe Benning, a few topics were narrowed down to be of significant importance.

Senator Kitchel said that voters of Caledonia County can expect the complaints on the condition of Route 2 to be addressed as well as economic development, preservation of jobs, and the maintaining of infrastructure, are all expected to be put on the table.



When asked about topics statewide, Kitchel and Benning gave similar responses.


Both senators expect minimum wage and paid family leave to be some of the main issues looked at. Senator Kitchel noted how those two issues have been an area of controversy between legislatures and Governor Phil Scott. Both issues had been previously shelved from the last session conducted.

Answers from both senators split up after these two issues were brought up, however.

Senator Kitchel listed Climate Change as the next main issue to be looked at. She pointed out that any policy that deals with lowering Co2 emissions in the state of Vermont will be met with widely different opinions.

Senator Benning said the next main topic the legislature would deal with improving the Department of Corrections. He referenced recent claims of faculty abuse stemming from Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, Vermont's only women's prison, as a reason for corrections to be looked at as a major issue. According to Benning, committees from both house and senate will be looking in as to how improvements can be made.

When asked about her thoughts on how the issue with Chittenden's correctional facility should be handled, she said a management team needs to be brought in that can assess what is going on tackle very difficult situations, but also has the confidence of the people to do that job.

"People who are incarcerated are very vulnerable, they're very powerless. Are there other facilities with an institutional culture and behaviors of staff that are problematic in other ways? It is going to take leadership to go in and confront these practices."

The Legislative period is marked to begin on January 7th.