To the editor: Chase on first session as state rep

To the residents of Chester, Grafton, Windham and Athens:

It’s late May and I have finished my first session as your representative in the Vermont House of Representatives.  I have thoroughly enjoyed representing you in Montpelier.

I served on the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, which addresses legislation relating to workforce development and training programs, business formations, financial institutions, insurance matters, including captive insurance, securities, unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance and consumer protection.

My committee took testimony spanning many subject areas during this legislative session and — to name a few of the important bills worked on in my committee — we were instrumental in passing:

  • S.48 Catalytic Converter Theft bill,
  • S.73 Expanding Workers Compensation for volunteer and professional firefighters,
  • H.76 Captive Insurance and
  • H.81 Right to Repair.

This summer, House Commerce and Economic Development will be continuing our work on H.121 Data Privacy for Consumers.

On May 12, the House and the Senate gave final approval to a balanced $8.4 billion budget that funds our state government for the coming fiscal year.  This budget is a fiscally responsible values-based budget that invests in top constituent priorities, including housing, childcare, workforce development, climate and conservation, and vital human services that improve life for Vermonters across the state.

The budget includes $109 million to expand affordable housing and $102 million for emergency shelter and support services for unhoused Vermonters, recovery housing, transitional housing for Vermonters exiting prison, and housing for young people exiting the foster care system.  It also includes a $76 million investment to provide greater financial stability for parents and providers, that will make childcare more affordable, raise reimbursements to childcare providers and boost pay for our valued early childhood workforce.

As I have noted just a few of the legislative accomplishments at the State House this session, I’d like to hear from you so that we can have a more in-depth conversation about the session.  In June, I have scheduled two meetings for us to reconnect.  On Wednesday, June 14, I will be at the Whiting Library, 117 Main St. in Chester, from  noon to 1 p.m. and at the Grafton Library, 204 Main St., in Grafton from 4 to 5 p.m.   I hope to see you at one of these gatherings or in and about the many summer activities in our towns of Athens, Chester, Grafton and Windham.

You may contact me by email at or by phone at 802-875-4663 .

Heather Chase

State representative, the Windsor-Windham District

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