Lisa Hango

  • Legislative Update 24 JUNE 23

    Dear Constituents –

    Tuesday, June 20 marked an historic day in the Vermont Legislature: without hesitation, the majority party in the House of Representatives overrode five gubernatorial vetoes, and adjourned an expected three-day session at the end of one day. Despite pleas on the House floor for reason and fiscal prudence, the majority rapidly dispatched the Governor’s concerns on: H.494 (Budget) – it has swollen by 13% over last year and contains $22M in unsolicited DMV fee increases; H.217 (Childcare) - sets up a brand-new $125M payroll tax largely funded by employers, although all workers will be required to pay their share; H.305 increased professional licensing fees for critical occupations; H.509 (non-citizen voting in Burlington) and H.386 (16/17-year old voting in Brattleboro). To say it was an exhausting, overwhelming, and disheartening exercise is an understatement; 37 Republicans (plus one, the Governor) essentially had no voice for the pocketbooks and sensibilities of the voters of Vermont. The same can be said for the Senate, which although they did not override any vetos, sent back to committee S.39, a legislative pay raise, for a second bite of the apple in January that will cost Vermonters another $4.7M in revenue (raised by taxes and fees). Vermont has truly become one of the most unaffordable states in the nation to live in.  The 2023 session began in the spirit of compromise and promises that even though a supermajority exists thanks to the 2022 election, we would be collaborating and coming up with mutually agreeable solutions to Vermont’s biggest problems.  Nowhere was that more unapparent than with H.217, the childcare bill.  The Governor proposed a reasonable solution that would have put Vermont with the most generous in the nation for subsidies to families and wages for childcare providers, and that bill (H.340, co-sponsored by myself and other Franklin County Reps) was summarily disregarded in favor of an even more generous package that advocates have been touting for a decade. Their victory was celebrated on the Statehouse steps on June 21, and it is but the tip of the iceberg of fully subsidized childcare for all, courtesy of raising more taxes and fees in the future. How elected officials can with a clear conscience vote to increase the cost of living in our beautiful state and not expect a mass exodus to more business-friendly places, especially with an economic downturn looming, is beyond me – do the benefits of being the number one state offering social services really outweigh the cost to its citizens, particularly low-income and elderly residents who will suffer under a regressive tax structure?  I don’t think we need the distinction of being the number one most generous state for benefits or the number one state for highest taxes and cost of living. And did I mention that for the cost of $3.5M, we somehow cannot see fit to honor our military families for their service and sacrifice by exempting their retirement pensions or survivors’ benefits from state income tax (H.255, another concept that has been around for at least a decade)??  With comments and concerns, please reach out to me at [email protected].  You can find any of these bills on the Vermont General Assembly website by typing the bill number in the bill tracker field on the front page.

    Thank you for the opportunity to represent you in the Statehouse.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango

  • ARPA Tour Recap - 15 MAY 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    May 15 marked a transformative day for Franklin County VT.  The Scott Administration sent 15 agency and department heads and their deputies to Richford for a round table presentation and Q&A on ARPA funding and other grant opportunities.  Municipal and community leaders attended from across Franklin County to learn about money that is available to their communities and organizations.  The purpose of the meeting was to highlight grant opportunities, but the biggest takeaway from the meeting is that the Administration isn’t a group of State employees working in a vacuum in Montpelier; they are people who live in struggling communities like ours who want to see rural Vermont communities access the types of programs advancing economic growth that they have built in their portfolios with the help of federal and state funding. The VT Rural Caucus (, of which I am a Co-Chair, under tri-partisan leadership, successfully advocated for inclusion of $3M in Rural Technical Assistance for the most underserved Vermont communities. Although no towns in Franklin County pre-qualify to receive technical assistance (based on metrics developed by the Administration with input from various stakeholders), several of our towns will qualify if they apply for consideration. Please reach out to them at [email protected].  This team dedicated to assisting municipalities with their ARPA funding needs have held these forums in almost every county of the State over the past year, and other communities have found their guidance to be informative and timely. I highly encourage all Franklin County municipalities to reach out to them.

    After the round table discussion, several groups went off in different directions: Richford Natural Forest Products and Kaytec in Richford; the Perley Block in Enosburg; the Franklin Co State Airport; Swanton Village; Fletcher; and several area libraries. These events were organized with the goal of introducing the Administration and their programs to municipal and community leaders and reinforcing those connections through their State Representatives and Senators. The message that was sent to communities is that there is money for assistance, and if you don’t know where to look for it, reach out to your elected officials, and they will connect you with the right government entities to assist you with your projects, from brain-storming to conceptualizing to implementation.

    I would like to thank the Scott Administration, Richford Town Administrator Michael Olio, Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation, Northwest Regional Planning Commission, and the Representatives and Senators who attended the events for their roles in planning and organizing the day’s events. I would also like to thank Greenwood’s bakery for preparing refreshments, FCIDC for providing the funding, and various businesses and municipalities for opening your doors and leading tours.

    Please feel welcome to reach out to me at [email protected].  As we are not currently in session, it may take longer for me to respond, but I will do so as my availability allows.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5


  • Legislative Update - 13 MAY 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    The Legislature adjourned just shy of midnight Friday night. It was a long day, with bills being amended in Committees and coming and going on the House floor. The pace of this session started at a run on January 4 and never slowed down! The main attraction, and the only must-pass bill that was left by 10PM was H.494, the Budget “Big Bill”, and it was saved until the bitter end. This is an $8.5 billion piece of legislation, the likes of which Vermonters have never seen before, and I hope to never see again. It represents a 13% increase in spending, including one-time money that was meant for historic investments in infrastructure and initiatives, not for on-going programs that will need to be supported in the future when we won’t have this funding windfall. This bill, combined with other very costly pieces of legislation, including childcare (H.217), Universal School Meals (H.165), increased professional registration fees (H.305), increased DMV fees (in H.494), and the pay raise/compensation package legislators voted themselves (S.39), not to mention S.5 the UN-affordable heat act, will make Vermont the second most expensive state to live in after Hawaii.  This is not a distinction that I am proud of. Those of us who opposed these tax and fee increases in a time of surplus, with the dread that these initiatives will be on-going without the continued influx of federal dollars, tried to convince the majority party that they were squandering once in a lifetime monies, which should be saved as federal match money or capital investment; those pleas fell on deaf ears, and we will all be paying the price as we watch our cost of living increase unsustainably.  On the House floor, during vote explanations for my no vote on the budget, I pointed out that with hundreds of millions of dollars in spending on new programs and personnel to stand up those programs, the General Assembly could not see fit to take up a bill honoring military retirees and their survivors who made the ultimate sacrifice with state income tax exemptions, the cost of which would be $3.5M – a drop in the bucket of an $8.5B budget – even though that bill has been introduced for five bienniums. Vermonters will continue to leave the State when their service commitment is fulfilled.

    As a leader in the majority party stated, “elections have consequences”; well, we will certainly see the consequences of the 2022 election of a Democratic supermajority in the coming years as these programs take effect and we must dream up ways to pay for them. The only way to stop this tidal wave of spending is to elect more fiscally conservative members to the General Assembly, so we have a chance to put up alternatives that are supported by many and not just a few.  That starts with each and every one of us thinking hard about who we want to represent us from our communities and if their views reflect the values that truly benefit all Vermonters. We get another chance to see that “elections have consequences” in 2024, and now is not too soon to think about how to make that happen.

    I welcome your comments and concerns at [email protected]. It is an honor to serve you.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5


  • Legislative Update - 5 MAY 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    As the final weeks of the legislation draw to a close, bills are passing through committees and in the chambers at a much faster pace, and changes to them are being drafted even faster than they can be printed. For the most up to date information, please go to the Vermont General Assembly website and click on House and Senate calendars, or specific committees for agendas, bills, and amendment drafts. If you know the bill number,  you can also type it into the bill tracker on the General Assembly website, and you can scroll down to see the latest action taken on that bill.

    Typical of this time of year, I begin to question the speed at which some legislation passes while other bills sit for an entire session on the wall. I have explained in this space in the past that it is legislative leadership’s sole discretion to take up bills or not, and when, provided it meets crossover in order to pass that session – at least this is how it works in the House ; the Senate has its own version of how late in the session a bill can be taken up. The Senate Rules Committee can decide if a bill is prioritized even if it didn’t meet the House crossover deadline. This session, I have seen evidence of this happening more frequently than I have in the past, and I am not in favor of using this method to advance bills.  For instance, Senate Rules allowed S.39, an act relating to compensation and benefits for members of the Vermont General Assembly, to be debated on the Senate floor beginning on April 11, and it finally came over from the Senate to my committee, Government Operations on April 19. Recall that policy crossover in the House was on March 17. We did not hear a bill introduction for this bill until May 2, and we are in the process of passing that bill out of committee as of this writing. A few of my fellow committee members joined me in objecting to the compressed timeframe , but the majority were more than OK with passing a bill that lacked extensive testimony and time to digest the content.

    Because legislation is moving so fast and being changed so dramatically in these last couple of weeks, I plan to bring you more news in next week’s report. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]. It is an honor to serve.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5


  • Legislative Update - 28 APRIL 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    This week marks the official countdown to the end of the Legislative session. We are projected to adjourn in two weeks, and committees are seeing a flurry of activity with bills passing between chambers for approval or amendments.  As reported last week, S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, passed the House and is in the Senate, waiting final reading as of this writing, having passed both bodies with a majority. Other major pieces of legislation also remain embroiled in the process : H.66, paid family and medical leave, has returned to Senate Economic Development ; H.165, Universal School Meals, is in Senate Appropriations ; S.56, the childcare bill, is making its way through the House money committees on its way to the floor next week ; and S.100, the HOME bill, is still in House Environment & Energy in hopes of adding amendments that address ACT 250 reform. The Transportation and DMV bills are also making their way through the process, and the must-pass « Big Bill » (Budget, H.494) appears to be heading for a Committee of Conference next week. Of note on the House floor this week, we passed several more amendments to municipal charters ; S.36, an act relating to permitting an arrest without a warrant for assaults and threats against health care workers and disorderly conduct  at health care facilities ;  S.73, an act relating to workers’ compensation coverage for firefighters with cancer ; and S.91, an act relating to competency to stand trial and insanity as a defense.

    In the House Government Operations Committee, we continued our work on several amendments to the charter of the City of Burlington (H.506, 507, 508, and 509) regarding elections ; S.42, divestment of State pension funds of investments in the fossil fuel industry ; and wrapped up our work on S.17, an act relating to sheriff reforms.  All of these bills can be found in their most updated form by typing the bill number into the bill tracker on the Vermont General Assembly website.  As most bills change substantially during the legislative process, it’s advisable to read them in their most recent form, and I will endeavor to keep the public informed as they advance.

    The VT Rural Caucus met this week to hear about issues related to childcare, which is in a crisis state throughout Vermont but particularly in rural areas. The Senate passed S.56, which House Human Services and House Education amended ; this bill is projected to cost $150M. The Administration has also proposed a more reasonable version (H.340) addressing childcare needs that would require just 1/3 the investment and continue to serve Vermont families that need it most.

    Please reach out to me at [email protected] with questions and concerns. It is truly an honor to serve you.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5

  • Legislative Update - 21 APRIL 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    This week in the Statehouse was defined by House floor action on S.5, the « Affordable Heat Act ». At this writing, Vermonters know that the House passed this bill, and it is headed back to the Senate for their approval before going to the Governor’s desk, where it is certain to be vetoed ; a veto session for late June has already been established. What most Vermonters don’t know, given the number of Representatives and Senators who voted in favor of this legislation, is that the « affordability » of this act is at best questionable. Despite repeated requests for a study weighing the potential costs and benefits, something any of us would do when contemplating a new proposal that directly affects our financial well-being, the costs of this bill remain unknown. Conservative estimates are in the multi millions, and they are projected to be on-going.  If this bill becomes law, Vermont will be the first state in the nation to enact such stringent requirements targeting the thermal sector.  During a press conference held by the Republican Caucus, concerns were raised about how this would affect Vermonters, particularly those on fixed incomes or who live in very cold pockets of the state.  The obvious answer is that, with a mandate to pass a balanced budget, and the influx of federal money coming to a swift halt, worthy initiatives will have to be cut to implement this new « Clean Heat » program. What those measures entail will be up to a future Legislature to decide, and that in itself feels wrong.  If we are making these decisions, we should own the consequences.  And by « we », I refer to the majority party who voted this behemoth in.  That being said, I want to thank the handful of my Democrat and Indpendent colleagues in the House who joined the minority in saying that this bill is unaffordable and punitive to their constituents and small businesses. For a detailed listing of how your Representatives voted, please see the General Assembly website for the April 20 House Journal.

    In Committee, we continued to take testimony on Ranked Choice Voting, Sheriffs, fossil fuel divestment from State portfolios, and amendments to the charter of the City of Burlington. The next few weeks will be more of the same, and you can view our agenda on the Government Operations & Military Affairs Committee webpage on the General Assembly website.

    The VT National Guard and Veterans Affairs Caucus met to hear updates on military pension and survivors’ benefits tax exemption legislation and on the military Burn Pit Registry, as well as  presentations from the USS VT Support Group and the VT Office of Veterans Affairs on their mission and outreach.  VT NG&VA Caucus leadership (myself and my two co-chairs) met with the staff of all three of our congressional delegation offices and were assured that our Senators and Congresswoman are doing their part to advocate at the federal level for an expansion of the PACT ACT to include deployment areas of Kosovo and perhaps others where our servicemen and women incurred exposure to airborne hazards.  It is also noteworthy that the PACT ACT includes our military veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in Southeast Asia and water borne toxins at Camp Lejeune. If any servicemember was present in those locations, I urge you to contact the VA for assistance to sign up for the Burn Pit Registry. I would also like to thank our VT Adjutant General, Major General Greg Knight, who is tirelessly advocating for these inclusions. On Tuesday, the VSG was present in the House Chamber for a reading of a Resolution naming April 18 2023 USS VT Day, commemorating the day that the submarine was commissioned three years ago.  I had the honor of introducing on the House floor Retired Navy Captain and my former Representative Mr Albert Perry, of Middlebury and Lake Carmi, as well as other members of the VSG Board. The VSG also held a press conference announcing the date of Vermont Weekend to tour the boat in Groton CT on May 12-13. The VT Rural Caucus met and learned more on the topics of EMS, dispatch, outdoor rec, and the housing bill. I expect next week’s floor action to focus on the HOME bill, S.100, which has been controversial as it has made its way through Senate Economic Development, Senate Natural Resources, General & Housing, and Environment & Energy. Thirty-three members of the VT Rural Caucus signed on to a letter to House leadership calling for restoration of the good work that Senate Econ did around Act 250 reform, only to have Senate NR strip it out and House G&H rendered hog-tied when Representatives tried to put these measures back in. [email protected] Stay well, Rep Hango

  • Governor’s Statement - 18 APRIL 2023

     This statement exemplifies the work that I have been doing with the Rural Caucus this session:



    Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement:


    “In my Inaugural Address, I asked legislators to join me to make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we have as a result of historic federal funds and state surpluses. I believe we do that by revitalizing our county economic centers and their surrounding communities that have been left behind for far too long.


    “Because the fact is, the real majority in the Legislature is not about political parties. It comes from the more than 100 lawmakers who represent small communities that need our help.


    “Unfortunately, despite the efforts of my team and many legislators from these small towns, initiatives that would help communities and families are being sidelined and sacrificed in order to satisfy political agendas and appease special interest groups. This includes an unwillingness to modernize Act 250 so we can increase housing in rural communities; removing funding I’d proposed for much-need community infrastructure like roads, bridges and stormwater; not considering tax relief for working families; and eliminating initiatives that would create jobs in the counties that need them most.


    “It seems like a good time to share the conclusion of my Inaugural Address and once again ask for legislators to work with me to put our communities and people first.


    “I appreciate those legislators who are stepping up to advocate for policies that will help their constituents, like members of the tri-partisan Rural Caucus. But as the legislative session comes to an end, they – and I – need Vermonters’ help to make sure all voices are heard.”


    If you agree Vermonters can’t afford higher taxes, fees and penalties, and that we should use historic federal funds and state surpluses to address the basic fundamental needs to revitalize communities, share your story and perspective by writing the Governor’s Office and contacting your legislators.

  • Legislative Update - 14 APRIL 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    In the Statehouse, Committees continue to work on bills, and the House floor has seen minimal action. Bills passed this week include : H.488, amendments to the charter of the Town of Ludlow ; H.495, amendments to the Charter of the Town of Middlebury ; H.148, amendments to raising the age of eligibility to marry as it came back from the Senate ; H.386, amendments to the charter of the Town of Brattleboro, allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in their local elections ; and S.3, prohibiting paramilitary training camps. The last three are bills that I voted against after hearing compelling arguments about the constitutionality of the language (S.3) and the dichotomy between prohibiting youth to make life decisions at one age (H.148), yet codifying it into law at an even younger age (H.386).

    In the Government Operations & Military Affairs Committee, we continued to take testimony on S.17, sheriff reforms ; more town charter changes, and ranked-choice voting.  We also received the Vermont National Guard Annual Sexual Assault Prevention Response Report with our colleagues in Senate Government Operations.

    Bills to keep a close eye on as they make their way through money committees and to the House floor next week are S.5, the Clean Heat Standard bill and S.100, the Housing for Everyone  bill.  Both of these bills came out of the committees of jurisdiction lacking bipartisan support and should be concerning to all Vermonters .  Thank you all for your letters and phone calls regarding the unaffordability of S.5 and the lack of ACT 250 reform in S.100.  My vote is no on each of these bills.

    In the VT Rural Caucus, we heard from the Vermont Natural Resources Council regarding their views on ACT 250 reform ; Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Coop on their efforts to make the electrical grid more resilient ; and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns on the vast number of municipalities that are under re-appraisal orders. The Rural Caucus leadership has also been grappling with S.100, the HOME bill, and how to balance the need for more housing of all types with the regulations that prevent that from happening.

    Please contact me at [email protected] with your questions and concerns.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5

  • Legislative Update - 7 APRIL 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    This week in the Statehouse we saw relatively little action on the House floor, as committees dug into the bills sent from the other chamber. Tuesday marked the beginning of the Month of the Military Child, and a Resolution was passed honoring the sacrifices our military families make for our freedoms. Retired Air Force Colonel and current Representative Michael Morgan of Milton welcomed guests from the National Guard Family Support Program and Vermont military families on the House floor after the reading of the Resolution. Bills that passed were largely without debate, and several of them came from the House Government Operations Committee : H.146, amendments to the charter of the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District ; H.271, amendments to the charter of the Town of Springfield ; H.418, amendments to the charter of the Town of Barre ; H.150, amendments to the charter of the Village of Alburgh ; H.495, an act relating to the approval of the amendment to the Town of Middlebury ; H.98, an act relating to approval of the amendments to the charter of the Town of Ludlow ; S.54, an act relating to individual and small group insurance markets ; and H.282, an act relating to the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact. We were able to vote for H.282, a worthy bill extending reciprocal licensure within compact states to psychologists who want to practice in Vermont who hold licenses in other states, after House Ways & Means withdrew a $7M increase in Office of Professional Regulation fee increases from this bill. There is no reason to raise fees and taxes in this time of surplus money in the State’s coffers !

    In House Government Operations & Military Affairs, our work continued to focus on amendments to Town Charters, which are brought to us by municipalities after a positive vote at the polls. We also took up S.17 dealing with sheriff reforms and took a drive through of S.6, an act relating to law enforcement interrogation policies  which  is in House Judiciary, and we are beginning to look at S.9, an act relating to the authority of the State Auditor to examine the books and records of State contractors. These bills all came to us from the Senate, and at first glance, they appear to be addressing very specific issues, rather than being Statewide solutions.

    I was invited to introduce three bills to committees of jurisdiction this week : H.328, an act relating to requiring licensed athletic trainers at secondary school athletic events and practices, in House Education ; H.99, an act relating to the Vermont National Guard Tuition Benefit Program, which is now part of H.461, the miscellaneous education bill, in Senate Education ; and H.255, an act relating to  exempting all military retirement and military survivor benefit income from State income tax, in House Ways & Means. I also spent time working with our UVM intern students on their assignments supporting the GOP Caucus, met with the Northeast Regional Defense State Liaison Officer from the Department of Defense on national priority policy issues, and the National Guard and Vermont Workforce Development Coordinator on growing Vermont’s workforce through partnerships with the Guard.

    Also this week, a group of students from Sheldon Elementary School were touring the Statehouse, as well as a contingent of students and advisors from MVU who are part of the OVX advocacy network.  It was great to see so many young people learning how government in Vermont works !

    As always, it is an honor to serve you. Please reach out to me at [email protected]

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa Hango, Franklin-5

  • Legislative Update - 31 MARCH 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    The story of the week is budgets.  To be specific, budgets that go far beyond a fiscally conservative Governor’s recommended spending that raised no new taxes or fees to add  approximately 70 new state government positions and a 12% increase in appropriations to the Big Bill, H.494 ; an increase of $22.2M, which is a 20% increase, in DMV fees to the Transportation Bill, H.479, (not typically where these fees would be authorized and not requested by the DMV) ; and a Capital Bill, H.493, that aims to keep costs down but has to address ballooning deferred maintenance needs across State-owned assets. On Thursday, in the midst of long days spent on the House Floor, the Republican Caucus (Representatives and Senators) held a press conference laying out objections to the overspending of money that isn’t there, the raising of fees during a time of high inflation and an influx of federal funds, and the apparent disregard for Vermonters who are struggling to make ends meet. While there are many worthy line items in the Budget and Transportation Bills (housing, education and workforce development, mental health, food insecurity, and infrastructure projects), the Republican Caucus made a statement by voting against both of these bills on the grounds of fiscal irresponsibility. To spend upwards of $65M above and beyond the budget that the Governor built with care and consideration for all Vermonters was a shock and a disappointment to my constituents. Also included in this budget is an additional $115M allocated for one-time uses that were not included in the Governor’s recommend, obligating the State for ongoing funding, and there was no money left in reserve to use in the future for matching funds to draw down federal grants, which is particularly concerning. On top of last week’s proposed spending on H.66 Paid Family Medical Leave ($118M), and H.165 Universal School Meals ($30M), I just don’t know where all of this money will come from !  By tacking on $22M in increased DMV fees to an otherwise conservatively crafted Transportation Bill, and another $7M in increased professional licensing fees, I have the sinking feeling that the way we will pay for this new budget is by increasing regressive fees that disproportionately affect the most vulnerable Vermonters. And this does not even begin to address the estimated $500M that S.5 the Affordable Heat Act and various childcare proposals will cost taxpayers in the near future.

    In Committee business, we have started learning about the crisis in the Emergency Communications system, Ranked Choice Voting, and we completed several amendments to municipal charters. As a Dillon’s Rule State,  any time a municipality wants to make a change to their charter, they have to seek permission from the Legislature by having that change go through the bill-making process, which originates in the House Government Operations & Military Affairs Committee.

    Thank you for your questions and concerns at [email protected]

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5


  • Legislative Update - 24 MARCH 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    This was the week of the deadline for money bills to « cross over » to the other Chamber – we spent many long hours on the House floor hearing debate and voting on bills, as well as Committee meetings  scattered throughout our days to hear amendments from money committees to bills that previously passed out of Goverment Operations & Military Affairs.

    As a reminder for the next section of this report, to find the text of a bill, one can type in the bill number on the General Assembly webpage and see several iterations of a bill – please click on the bill as passed by the House for the most up to date version ; if it is an S. bill at this time of year, click on as passed by the Senate.

    Among the bills that passed throughout the House are the following, listed by bill number and title. Those that I voted in favor of include : H.55 unemployment insurance amendments ; H.110 extending the sunset on siting telecommunications towers ;H.171 adult protective services ; H.471 technical and administrative changes to VT tax law ; H.476 radiologist assistants ; H.178 commissioning Department of Corrections personnel as notaries public ; H.288 liability for the sale of alcoholic beverages ; H.476 miscellaneous changes to law enforcement officer training laws ; H.481 public health initiatives to address death by suicide.

    Those that I did not support include : H.230 implementing mechanisms to reduce suicide, which the Defender General has testified is unconstitutional ; H.482 Vermont Criminal Justice Council recommendations for law enforcement officer training, which reflects changes that this appointed body has oversight of and makes no provision for how the transition in training practices will roll out ; H.126 community resilience and biodiversity protection, which requires that 30% of land will be conserved by 2030 and 50% will be conserved by 2050 by purported voluntary means ; H.66 paid family and medical leave, which has an estimated cost of $118 million/year and requires an employer-funded payroll tax ; H.270 miscellaneous amendments to the adult-use and medical cannabis programs, which passed through my committee with disregard to the recommendations of the Vermont Medical Society ; H.165 Universal School Meals which is another high cost program ($28-33M per year) to be paid out of the Education Fund that could be managed at a lesser cost by utilizing non-identifying swipe cards and a more detailed screening tool.

    For a complete listing of bills passed this week, please see both the House and Senate Journals on the General Assembly website, which lists all action taken each day.

    As always, it is an honor to represent you at the Statehouse, and I welcome your questions and concerns at [email protected]

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa Hango, Franklin-5


  • Legislative Update - 17 MARCH 2023

    Dear Constituents –

    Crossover week at the Statehouse marks when all bills must « cross over » to the other chamber in order to have a chance of survival for the rest of this session. It began with a snowy, early morning meeting of the VT National Guard & Veterans Affairs Caucus, which I co-Chair, along with a Democrat and an Independent Representative. We heard from the Adjutant General about the expansion of the Provost Marshal position to full-time (necessary so traditional drill members can access this office), we discussed our frustrations that neither Chamber’s tax committees have taken up the military survivors’ benefits and pension tax exemption bills (S.118/H.255), despite overwhelming bipartisan support, and heard an impressive presentation from CAPT Anne Turner on her role commanding a military base in Qatar during  the first wave of evacuation of Kabul (Afghanistan).

    On the House floor, despite it being Crossover, we passed relatively few bills compared to other years ; bills of note that were passed : H.461 miscellaneous changes to education law, which contained the expansion of the National Guard Tuition Benefit Program that I proposed in H.99 ; H.175, modernizing the Children and Family Council Prevention Programs ; H.465, amending regional emergency management committee’s meeting quorum requirement ; H.466, a technical corrections bill for the 2023 legislative session ; and three Interstate Compact bills : H.62 for Counseling services, H.77 for licensed Physical Therapists, and H.86, for audiologists and speech-language pathologists, making it simpler for those profressionals to move into Vermont and continue their licensure (think military spouses who move frequently as an example), as well as allowing for interstate telemedicine work.

    In committee (Government Operations & Military Affairs), much of what we worked on pertains to the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council.  We have several draft bills that are in the works, and I have some concerns about each of them that are gradually being addressed, as I question the witness list. We also passed H.291, creating a Cybersecurity Council ; H.125, an act relating to boards and commissions ; H.178, commissioning Department of Corrections personnel as notaries public ; and H.270, miscellaneous amendments to the adult-use and medical cannabis programs, which I was opposed to on the grounds that several of the proposals were either not well-vetted or they were strongly opposed to by various medical and public health prevention advocates.

    Thursday brought the weekly meeting of the Rural Caucus, of which I am also a tri-partisan co-Chair, where we had a presentation on Tourism in Vermont, as well as an overview of H.263, relating to emergency medical services. I am a co-sponsor on this important bill that starts the conversation on how to modernize and sustain our essential EMS infrastructure.

    Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your questions and concerns at [email protected]

    Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Statehouse.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5


  • 2023 Town Meeting Week Report

                                                           Town Meeting Week Report, Franklin-5


    Dear Constituents –

    If I was unable to attend your Town Meeting in person, I’ve prepared this report for your awareness of legislation in the Vermont General Assembly. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions and concerns.

    My committee, House Government Operations & Military Affairs, according to our webpage: “considers matters relating to the structure, organization, and oversight of State, local, county, and regional government, and municipal corporations; the administration of public safety; compensation and retirement benefits for public officials and employees; elections and reapportionment; liquor and lottery; military affairs; public records and open meetings; information technology and cybersecurity; and other similar policies.” This is a broad and varied portfolio with a steep learning curve.  For the first eight weeks of the session, we have taken a deep dive into several of our policy areas, including elections, cannabis regulation, law enforcement officer training and administration, and professional regulation.

    In addition to learning about one’s policy areas of jurisdiction, a legislator must learn how their committee’s policy decisions affect the State’s statutorily mandated balanced budget, and we must be mindful of other committee’s legislation that interacts with ours and with the overall budgeting process.  It is a complex dance, and the challenge is to work together to benefit all Vermonters.

    With the Democratic Party once again in a super-majority position, and being of the minority Republican Party,  I made it my goal for this biennium to work with members, regardless of party affiliation, if the end result would benefit my district and not adversely affect other regions of the State. To that end, I am co-chairing the VT Rural Caucus with an Independent and a Democrat to address issues pertaining to rural Vermont.  With the hard work of the Administration and House and Senate leadership to hammer out the details, the Budget Adjustment Act (H.145) contains a $3M appropriation for rural technical assistance capacity that, if passed and signed by the Governor, will benefit the towns in Vermont that have the most need for administrative services to identify grants and other funding for infrastructure projects, prepare the paperwork for those grants, plan and manage those projects, and see them completed by the ARPA deadline in 2025.  There is an immediacy for municipalities to make decisions on what their needs are and how to act on them because they stand to leave that money on the table if they don’t meet the deadline.  Many of our towns, without adequate administrative capacity to take on these critical roles, will miss out on unprecedented federal funding for long-neglected projects, such as drinking water and wastewater upgrades, as well as for broadband, roads and other infrastructure needs.

    Additional work that I do on behalf of Vermonters at the Statehouse also involves co-chairing the VT National Guard & Military Affairs Caucus (with a Democrat and an Independent). The primary goal of this Caucus is to be a liaison between the National Guard, the General Assembly, and our constituents and to advocate for legislation to honor and assist current military members, veterans, and their families. This work has been rewarding and challenging, and I am humbled by the opportunity to serve in this way.  Current legislation is in support of reduced property taxes for disabled veterans (H.264), a 100% income tax exemption for military pensions and survivors’ benefits (H.255), and an expansion of the National Guard Tuition Benefits Program (H.99).

    Other bills that I’ve sponsored or co-sponsored this year may be found by searching the General Assembly website under my profile; a sampling of those include: H.11, relating to commercial insurance coverage of epinephrine auto-injectors; H.48, relating to solid waste management; H.68, relating to removing State and municipal regulatory barriers for fair zoning and housing affordability; H.109, relating to reimbursement for home-delivered meals (Meals on Wheels); H.111, relating to workforce housing; H.124, relating to promoting rural economic development capacity; H.128, relating to removing regulatory barriers for working lands businesses; H.234, relating to regional support for animal control services; H.263, relating to emergency medical services; H.278, relating to post secondary opportunities for Vermont career technical education students; H.340, relating to the Child Care Financial Assistance Program; H.348, relating to requiring licensed athletic trainers at secondary school athletic events and practices; H.367, relating to promoting economic development, administrative capacity, and vitality in rural communities. Many of these bills address the critical needs of Vermonters throughout the State in areas of childcare, housing, food insecurity, and education, as well as capacity needs of small municipalities. With regard to any “S. bills”, at this time, please direct your questions to our Senators, Randy Brock and Robert Norris.

    It is an honor to serve you in the Legislature.  I welcome your comments at [email protected] or at              

    Stay well, Rep Lisa A Hango, Berkshire




  • Legislative Update - 24 FEB 2023 - Week#8

    Dear Constituents –

    The Statehouse was full this week with many groups visiting during Southern Vermont’s public school break – after three years of silent hallways, it was nice to see so many young people and their families visiting the People’s House. While we in northern Vermont are on school break this week, I highly encourage families with school-aged children to make the trip to Montpelier – our Statehouse is a living and working museum, and we are always happy to visit with constituents and have them feel welcome in our beautiful surroundings. Our doormen, our Pages, our Capitol Police, and the Sergeant at Arm’s office staff are more then willing to speak with everyone who enters the historic lobby with its unique Isle la Motte fossil flooring and soaring ceilings and to share their knowledge of the building and its inner workings. There is also an option for a self-guided audio tour.  If you do plan to be in the building, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Representatives and Senators!     

    In the Government Operations & Military Affairs Committee, we continued to take testimony and re-work a bill containing changes to certain elections statutes, which started as a comprehensive committee bill draft, was combined with H.97, and ended as a much watered-down version. As of this writing, it did not have the support of the three Republicans on the committee or of members of the Progressive party, the Independents, or some members of the Democrat party. The discussion was lively and interesting, from all points of view, but in my opinion, this was a bill looking to solve a problem that either didn’t exist or didn’t solve the right one. Other committee activities revolved around: hearing bill introductions (H.105 establishing a Community Resilience and Disaster Mitigation Fund; H.140 establishing requirements for State-funded grants); listening to Budget presentations; and taking more testimony on H.270, miscellaneous amendments to the adult-use and medical cannabis programs.

    The House Floor remained fairly quiet, as many committees are still working on getting the nearly 1/3 new members up to speed on areas of jurisdiction, so they aren’t passing out many bills yet. One bill of note that did pass by voice vote unanimously was H.76, relating to captive insurance, an industry that brings much-needed revenue into the State of Vermont and allows businesses to self-insure.

    In the Rural Caucus, we heard presentations from Vermont Council on Rural Development in support of the Working Lands Initiative, the Regional Development Corporations, the Regional Planning Commissions, and the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, all with specific asks for the rural community.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with your questions and concerns at [email protected]

    It is an honor to serve.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5

  • 2023 GNAT-TV interview on Rural issues

    Please click on the following link to view the interview I recently participated in to learn more about the work I am doing as a tri-partisan Co-Chair of the VT Rural Caucus:


    Also please read about the VT Rural Caucus at this link:


    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa Hango

  • Legislative Update - 17 FEB 2023 - Week#7

    Dear Constituents –

    This week began with co-chairing the VT National Guard & Veterans Affairs Caucus monthly meeting. Retired Colonel and current Representative Michael Morgan of Milton presented a Guard 101 briefing to new and returning Caucus members on the mission and structure of the Guard. We also heard a presentation on the Honorary Commander Program and from the VT Chamber highlighting the importance of the Guard’s presence in Vermont and the civic and economic impact of their members in our communities.

    Time in the Government Operations Committee was spent being introduced to new bills by their sponsors: H.180, standardizing opening time of polls and H.226, candidate information provided to the Secretary of State, and hearing from witnesses about the bills in committee and from the USS VT Support Group with respect to their budget request. It was a pleasure to hear former Representative and retired Captain Albert Perry on zoom as the group made their pitch for modest support of the namesake Navy sub’s crew and families. The majority of our time was focused on bill markup and discussion of a Committee bill making updates to the Office of Professional Regulation’s jurisdiction over certain regulated professions, a miscellaneous Elections bill, and H.127 an act relating to Sports Wagering. Both the OPR bill and the online sports-wagering bill passed out of the Committee and will make their way to the House Floor, after stops in other committees of jurisdiction or money committees.

    The Rural Caucus met on Thursday to hear about transportation issues and a focus on framing discussions with a rural lens. In addition, our UVM interns each spent an afternoon, as they do each week, in person at the Statehouse following key bills such as childcare, paid family leave, housing, and universal school meals. It is an honor to be able to teach young people about my work in the Legislature and to help them learn about committees, caucuses, and the making of a bill.

    I also attended a meeting of the Sportsman’s Caucus, a gathering of approximately 40 House and Senate members who have an interest in hunting, fishing, trapping, land conservation, and outdoor recreation. The Commissioner of Fish & Wildlife spoke to the group on various topics of interest, including bills on the wall, conservation efforts, and hunter education courses.

    Very little action took place on the House floor, leaving us much more time for Committee work. A Joint Assembly of the House and Senate to elect the Sergeant at Arms and three UVM Legislative Trustees took place on Thursday. Janet Miller once again was elected as Sergeant at Arms and former Speaker of the House Shap Smith and Reps Monique Priestly (Bradford)and Tristan Toleno (Brattleboro) were elected Trustees.

    It is an honor to serve. Please reach out to me at [email protected] with questions and concerns.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5

  • Legislative Update - 10 FEB 2023 - Week #6

    Dear Constituents –

    This week in the Statehouse felt more “routine”, like a pre-pandemic week: press conferences in the Cedar Creek Room, breakfast sidebars in the cafeteria sponsored by various advocacy groups, some in the Card Room displaying posters and props outlining their policy positions, and off-site meetings hosted by others with the opportunity for more in-depth discussion on the issues. Both the Governor and the Lt Governor have resumed their coffee hours for constituents and legislators. All of these gatherings are excellent opportunities to learn in an informal manner what priorities various organizations and government agencies have for this legislative session.

    The Government Operations & Military Affairs Committee continued hearing bill introductions from sponsors whose bills have been referred to our committee (a full listing appears on each committee’s webpage); I really appreciate that leadership is making an effort this session to introduce the majority of the bills on our wall – this is at the discretion of the Chair, and in my experience, it has not always been the case in other committees. The GO&MA portfolio is vast and varied, so we are learning about subjects affecting the liquor and lottery system, the state retirement systems, the Office of Professional Regulation, language access for non-English speakers, and interstate healthcare professional compacts.

    Action on the House Floor was brief with the passage of H.161 an act regarding the issuance of burning permits and H.46 an act regarding the dissolution of the Colchester Fire District No 3. For those of us who live in rural areas and may have the need to burn brush,  H.161 gives the Commissioner of Forest, Parks, and Recreation the authority to instruct Fire Wardens not to issue any burning permits during specified periods of increased fire hazard.  This bill has gone over to the Senate for further testimony.

    Another bill (H.89) took more time, and it wasn’t quite as inclusive as many of us like to see.  The bill aims to protect healthcare providers who offer legal medical services from out of state prosecution if the patient from another state resides in a state that has laws against that procedure. Vermont healthcare professionals already have protections, so this “shield bill” seemed duplicative. However, this presented the opportunity to suggest an amendment that would have protected healthcare workers who are conscientious objectors to not face retaliation or retribution for declining to perform certain services. That amendment never had a chance to come to the floor for a vote, being found “not germane” to the bill being debated, although it clearly affected the rights of healthcare providers as much as the actual bill does. H.89 also has passed to the Senate for their scrutiny.

    The Rural Caucus met on Thursday, as we normally do, and heard from the Commissioner of Forests about the progress of the “Forest Futures Roadmap” that the Department was tasked with developing when the session ended last year.  A series of public hearings will be held with the goal of getting input from various stakeholders in the forest products industry, with a report due in January 2023.  I invite any constituents who have concerns to contact Commissioner Fitzco with your testimony. The Caucus also heard a brief overview of H.126, colloquially known as the “30x30” bill, aiming to conserve 30% of land in Vermont by 2030 and 50% by 2050.  This is a lofty goal with an untenable timeline, and I encourage all residents to learn more about this effort. The bill is currently on the wall in House Energy & Environment, and you can follow its progress on their website.

    It is an honor to serve your interests. Please reach out to me at [email protected] with your questions.

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5

  • Legislative Update - 3 Feb 2023 - Week #5

    Dear Constituents –

    This week at the Statehouse seemed more like a “typical” week – committees have settled into taking testimony, advocates and lobbyists are in the Card Room and the cafeteria, and bills are being debated on the House floor.

    On Tuesday, I was present at Governor Scott’s press conference highlighting the PACT (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins) Act.  The PACT Act is a federal program that gives all veterans who were deployed in certain regions of the world the ability to sign up on a registry that shows service that could be connected to airborne hazards (i.e. burn pits, Agent Orange):

    I also had the opportunity to meet with various Communications Union District (CUD) members, including our own Northwest Fiberworx, to discuss the progress to bring broadband to the “middle miles” in Franklin County.

    We learned in our committee that State Treasurer Mike Pieciak put out a release stating that February 1st was National Unclaimed Property Day.  Vermont has $119M in unclaimed property (forgotten bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, unpaid life insurance policies, etc).  Last year, Vermonters filed 15,000 claims that yielded $5.3M in payouts with the average claim exceeding $400. To learn more click on  [email protected] . We also heard extensive testimony on Sports Wagering, Elections, and the role of Sheriffs in law enforcement; these are all topics that the House and Senate Government Operations Committees anticipate weighing in on this biennium. It is important that we hear from as many witnesses as possible to ensure that we don’t pass legislation with unintended consequences, so I fully expect to spend many hours listening to the various sides of these issues.

    House floor action primarily revolved around the Budget Adjustment Act (BAA). As I have explained before, this is typically a bill that doesn’t have much debate because it is intended to be a mid-cycle “true up” of the current budget year that we are in: how much of existing allocations have been spent and what the best use of the remainder would be based on current conditions.  This year, however, was a different story!  The House Appropriations Committee majority party members (8-4) voted to include an additional $90M for various programs, over and above what we passed for a balanced budget in May of 2022. For the 33 minority members voting, this was something that could not be supported, no matter how many other crucial programs the budget supports.

    The Rural Caucus met on Thursday to review the components of the Rural Omnibus bill and the Recreation Omnibus bill that we hope to support and is in the drafting process, as well as updates on several other bills related to the rural economy.

    It is an honor to serve as your State Representative. Please reach out any time at [email protected]. Stay well, Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5


  • Legislative Update - 27 Jan 2023 - Week #4

    Dear Constituents –

    For the first time since arriving in Montpelier earlier this month, I feel like we’ve finally gotten into a routine, and the pace has slowed down enough to catch our collective breath…

    The focus of the Legislature is on getting the Budget Adjustment Act (BAA) out of the House Appropriations Committee, so it can pass through the House and on to the Senate.  In Vermont, we pass a balanced budget every Spring according to statute, and every January, the Administration proposes adjustments to that budget, based on actual expenditures and funds left in various accounts. It is the job of the Appropriations Committee to sift through those proposals and various requests from outside groups to best utilize the remaining funds. In order to do so, the Committee needs to take input from every committee of jurisdiction whose purview would be affected by those adjustments. My committee, for instance, weighed in on the progress at the Agency of Digital Services on technology upgrades for both the Department of Labor and the Judiciary and the rural administrative capacity initiative to assist towns that I’ve written about previously in this letter. I can assure you that the Appropriations members are working diligently to protect the interests of all Vermonters.

    Aside from weighing in on the BAA, my House Government Operations & Military Affairs Committee has spent some time learning about the Offices of the Vermont State Treasurer, the Attorney General, the Agency of Administration’s Racial Equity Office, and the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office. We have also begun a deep dive into the workings of the Cannabis Control Board and the world of Sports Betting, both of which could potentially be sources of revenue for the State. I look forward to learning more and hearing constituent feedback on both of these issues.

    The House Floor was very quiet this week, with bills being introduced up to H.124 for the session thus far. I have had a few relevant bills introduced and sent to committees of jurisdiction: H.11 requiring private insurers to cover the cost of epinephrine auto-injectors with no cost-sharing; H.26 a housing and subsistence tax exemption for members of the National Guard on State Active Duty; and H.99 a Tuition Benefit program expansion for the National Guard. I will continue to keep constituents informed about these and other bills that I am following closely. We also had our annual legislative ethics training during a House floor session Thursday.

    The VT Rural Caucus met on Thursday morning and summarized the results of  member voting for the Rural Omnibus Bill that will be forthcoming and sponsored by many on this special issues Caucus. On Friday, H.124 an act relating to promoting rural economic development capacity, of which I am a co-sponsor, was released to committee. Other bills that I have signed onto in are in the housing and regulatory reform arenas.

    I will continue to make connections and offer suggestions across the aisle to help build the best possible legislation for my rural district in an environment where I hold a profound minority political status.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]  It is an honor to serve!

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango


  • Legislative Update - 20 JAN 2023 - Week #3

    Dear Constituents –

    Rural Vermont is certainly in the spotlight! This week in the Statehouse, the buzz was all about rural capacity and how we can put human capital to work to ensure in an efficient and effective way to make sure the remaining federal funds reach the neediest of communities in a timely manner before the rapidly approaching deadline of Dec 2026. The work of many folks on the VT Rural Caucus and  around the Statehouse has yielded a rural administrative capacity bill that should be introduced next week, as well as a comprehensive rural omnibus bill dealing with many issues particular to rural life that is in the works. Through collaborative, tri-partisan efforts, these bills and others like them seek to highlight the plight of many rural towns with respect to overwhelming public safety, infrastructure, and housing needs. All of the bills being introduced have a long road ahead of them as they move through the committee process, but I am encouraged to see so many legislators and advocates willing to work together for the common good of their collective communities.

    In committee, several new bills were introduced by their sponsors, including one to return to mailing out general election ballots only to those voters who request them (H.23), sponsored by Rep Larry Labor. The House Government Operations & Military Affairs Committee received a Pensions 101 briefing by the Joint Fiscal Office, a subject area new to several of us, and an introduction to the operations of the Department of Liquor and Lottery and the Agency of Digital Services, new to our committee jurisdiction, the Department of Public Safety,  the Vermont Judiciary, and the Cannabis Control Board, all within our purview.

    The House Floor was relatively quiet, with the introduction of new bills being referred to committees of jurisdiction, such as H.66 Paid Family Leave, H.68 a housing bill that I signed onto, and H.77 a bill establishing a Physical Therapy Interstate Compact, to name a few. We voted to pass H.48 an update to an act relating to diversion and expungement and H.1 an act relating to legislative oversight for case management for individuals with developmental disabilities. As a reminder, all bills can be entered by number into the legislative bill tracker tool on the Vermont General Assembly website if you are interested in following their progress.

    Friday marked the Governor’s Budget Address and continued to highlight the needs that rural communities are facing. Much of what is proposed uses one-time surpluses for seed money to make investments in key economic drivers.  You can access the text of the Governor’s speech in multiple media outlets, and I encourage you to read about these investments in roads, water projects, working lands, brownfields, clean energy, health care and dental care stabilization, substance use prevention, mental health services, fair and impartial policing, housing, homelessness prevention, childcare access, trades training, the Vermont State College System, internships, scholarships for critical occupations, and more.

     The takeaway for all of us, elected officials and citizens, is what does this budget mean for your family and your town?

    It is an honor to represent your interests in the Statehouse. Please reach out to me at [email protected]

    Stay well,

    Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5