The following is a legislative update from Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman from Middletown Springs. Robin is the leader of the House Progressive Caucus
The 2018 legislative session got off to a smokin’ start with both the House and Senate again voting to legalize possession and small scale cultivation of marijuana. Indications are thatthe Governor has said he will sign the bill making VT the first state to legalize through legislation rather than referendum.
Progress on other Progressive priorities may be slower as we continue the steady march toward real affordability, that is a society in which Vermonters can afford health care, child care, housing, and education. The Governor believes we can cut our way to prosperity; we believe prosperity comes when you put more money into people’s pockets through a livable wage.
The push for a $15/hr minimum wage has opponents claiming that it is damaging to business. I propose that any business whose business plan depends on exploiting workers, needs to rethink its viability. And I am not alone in that vision. There is a very real possibility that either a $15/hr minimum wage OR paid sick leave will pass the legislature, though probably not both. Whether they will survive the governor’s pen is a different question – but we will continue doing the right thing.