Message from the Executive Director 5-19-20

Usually at this time of year, the Vermont legislature has adjourned until January and I’m in the process of writing a final legislative wrap-up. Instead, this week, the Vermont House is expected to pass a second SFY2020 budget adjustment to address the loss of state revenues caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. That process was relatively straightforward, and a Joint Fiscal Office summary outlines the bill’s highlights. The next planned step is the passage of a “skinny budget” for the first three months of SFY2021.

The hard decisions will likely come in August, when lawmakers will have to develop a budget for the rest of the fiscal year with revenues down and every sector of Vermont in trouble. And somehow the debate will be done via Zoom.

Meanwhile, legislative policy committees are starting to take up bills that aren’t related to COVID-19 but were in progress when the COVID-19 pandemic closed the State House building – including the Older Vermonters Act and the nurse licensure compact.

We’ll be following these developments closely and advocating to make sure home health and hospice services remain available to all Vermonters.

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