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County Courier Q & A - Oct 22, 2020

The County Courier of Enosburg Falls VT is running a weekly candidates’ Q & A. 
Here is this week’s question and my response:

 

QUESTION: Vermont is one of 13 states to tax social security benefits, and one of seven states to fully tax Military Pension benefits. Do you support the continued taxation of these, why or why not? Do you support providing taxation exemptions from any other groups or individuals?

ANSWER: Retirees and military veterans have contributed to our economy and given their lives in service to their careers and for our freedom. I do not believe that we should tax these individuals on their hard-earned income. In fact, I signed on to bills in the last biennium exempting both groups from State income tax. We in the Legislature need to do everything we can to keep these folks from leaving our State, and this is one action that would benefit us more than it would cost us. Retirees and veterans often have second careers and use their newfound financial security to stimulate the economy by making purchases for more than just necessities. They often are younger and have many more productive years ahead of them, and we should utilize their financial resources and knowledge.  I wish to take this opportunity to thank our military veterans and our retirees for all that they have done for our State and to assure them that I will continue to advocate for lower, or no, income tax for those groups.

Thank you for your service - it is an honor to represent you! 
Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango 

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Resolution 2020


Dear Constituents -

i just signed on to this Resolution promoting a safe, fair, and peaceful election cycle! It is a non-partisan effort spearheaded by the Franklin County Better Angels (betterangelsFC@gmail.com) organization, an offshoot of the national Braver Angels organization (www.braverangels.org)  Braver Angels is a citizen’s organization uniting red, blue, and purple Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America -

We recognize that there are differences of opinion in Franklin County regarding the desirable outcome of the national election on November 3. As Franklin County citizens, we wish to remind everyone that we are Vermonters and Americans first. We all have the power to be heard by voting for the candidate of our choice. As Americans, it is our  duty to protect our democracy by ensuring a peaceful election and a peaceful transition of power regardless of who wins. In our communities we strive to take care of each other and see the best in each other regardless of our political views. We invite you to choose to believe in our best selves.  Let’s build a stronger, healthier and more resilient community together. 

I hope you will join me in facilitating a successful 2020 election!
Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango 

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County Courier Q & A - Oct 15, 2020

The County Courier of Enosburg Falls VT is running a candidates’ Q & A. 
Here is this week’s question and my response:

QUESTION: The balance between gun rights and gun control has been debated in Montpelier significantly for years. Where do you stand with the balance of the public's safety and the right to bear arms?


ANSWER: 
Vermont has a long history of hunting, shooting for sport, and firearms ownership. I support the right of Vermonters to responsibly purchase, own, and use firearms. I believe that the laws that have been passed in Vermont permit this to happen without undue burden or bureaucracy and with the public’s safety in mind. I am grateful for the individuals who educate our youth on hunter safety, the small businesses in my District that serve the hunting and sport shooting public, the local shooting range, and a number of meat cutters who process game taken by hunters. All of these businesses make a valuable contribution to our local economy and preserve the traditions that Vermonters value. 

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Legislative Update- Oct 2020

Dear Constituents –

Our most important civic duty in the next few weeks is to vote — please mark your ballots for the candidates who you believe will best look after our fiscal health and put us on the road to economic recovery.

As I’ve been driving across my District delivering lawn signs these past few weeks, I am struck by the feeling that I am missing out on something very important this campaign season.  While I am enjoying the colors of the Fall foliage against the backdrop of the mountains and meadows, I realize that there are so many roads I’d like to take, and so many people I have yet to meet. I sincerely wish that I were able to stop to see more of you, but COVID-19 has changed the way we are campaigning. I appreciate the limited opportunities I’ve had to visit with some of you, and I hope all of you can safely enjoy the beauty of our mountains, lakes, rivers, and back roads, as I have been doing.

Although the Legislature has adjourned, we continue to receive updates and reports on various funding initiatives, and work remains to be done to ensure that our constituents receive the information and support you need. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions and concerns at lhango@leg.state.vt.usor www.hangoforhouse.com . It is an honor to be serving as your State Representative.

Stay well,

Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5 (Highgate-Franklin-Berkshire-Richford)

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County Courier Q & A - Oct 8, 2020

The County Courier of Enosburg Falls VT is running a candidates’ Q & A. 
Here is this week’s question and my response:

 

QUESTION: Many area residents began getting their ballots in the mail this week, and if they haven't, they likely will in the next few days. What would you like voters to know most about you as they begin to consider who to vote for?

 

ANSWER: Regardless of how we may feel about universal mail-in balloting, voting has begun! In these unheard-of times of not being able to campaign in-person and focusing our efforts instead on the special Legislative COVID session, candidates may not seem as publicly accessible to voters as they normally would be. Please know that we are! You can reach us through our digital platforms and phone calls, and we are more than happy to be of assistance - I check my messages daily! My contact info is lhango@leg.state.vt.usand www.hangoforhouse.com

I strive to respond to all inquiries, and if I don’t have all the answers, I will find someone who can help. I have spent the better part of two years learning the subject matter of my committee and the legislative process, as well as building relationships with as many members of the General Assembly, the Administration, and the staff as possible, so I can be an informed and effective Legislator. I am pleased that I have been able to work collaboratively with all parties, and although I tenaciously adhere to my ideals and values and those of my constituents, I listen to all sides of debate, and I work diligently and respectfully to close the gap on issues. I take my responsibility to my constituents seriously, and my voting record and attention to local issues reflect this. Ibelieve that the consistency of having prior legislative experience and institutional knowledge of the process will prove invaluable as we work to recover from the effects of COVID-19 on our economy. My background serving on community boards and committees dealing with education and healthcare, combined with my leadership and interpersonal skills will serve me well in the difficult times ahead. I feel confident that I understand the challenges we face, and I look forward to being a part of the solutions. 
Thank you for your continued support to return me to the Statehouse - it is truly an honor to represent my District. Please return your ballot however you prefer - by mail prior to Oct 20 to ensure time for processing, or in person at your voting place on Nov 3. 
Thank you and stay well,
Lisa 
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Press Release

Vermont National Guard Caucus forms in the Vermont Legislature  

Members of the Vermont Legislature have announced the formation of a Vermont National Guard Legislative Caucus in advance of an anticipated large-scale deployment of the Vermont Army National Guard in 2021, with the intent of improving communication with the Guard. The caucus provides a venue for Legislators and the VTNG to review policies; learn more about VTNG operations and actions; discuss issues specific to the organization and provide for additional transparency.  Members of the VTNG are currently activated by Governor Scott to support Vermont during the COVID-19 state emergency, and the Air Guard is midway through their transition from the F-16 to the F-35. 

One of the immediate focuses of the caucus will be supporting the large-scale, out of country deployments for the Army National Guard that are expected in 2021, and a reduced scale deployment of some members of the Air National Guard in late 2020.  Legislators will have many constituents in their communities (Army and Air Guard personnel, their families, employers, and school leaders) impacted by these deployments. The group expects to provide a forum for discussion around the missions and policies of the Vermont National Guard and will be a resource for the public, the General Assembly, and affiliated policy organizations. 

This nonpartisan caucus currently numbers 20 members from across the political spectrum and will be co-chaired by Dover Representative Laura Sibilia (I), Representative Matt Birong of Vergennes (D), and Rep. Lisa Hango of Berkshire (R), who initiated the formation of the nonpartisan legislative coalition. This caucus is expected to grow and will meet monthly with liaisons from the Scott Administration, Legislative Counsel, and Guard Leadership on behalf of their constituents to support the members, families, and employers of the Vermont Army and Air National Guard. 

 “The formation of this caucus will be a great resource for engagement between the Guard, the Legislature and the public. These dialogues will be a welcome conduit of information as our committee does its work,” said Rep Matt Birong, who serves along with Rep Lisa Hango on the Vermont House’s General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee.    

As with any National Guard state, the Governor is the Commander in Chief. However, Vermont is alone in that the General Assembly elects the state’s Adjutant General. 

“Vermont Legislators have a unique and consequential responsibility to ensure enlisted and officers within the Vermont National Guard have high quality and highly qualified leadership,” said Sibilia, a military mom who hopes the caucus can help new legislators understand that role.  

“This Caucus has already received enthusiastic support from National Guard leaders, constituents, and leaders in the Vermont House as our Guard prepares for its overseas missions and continues to serve us here in the State with its response to the pandemic. Many constituents in Franklin County played an important role in the 2010 deployments, and I see this Caucus as a way of giving back to those who serve by supporting members, their families, and our communities,” stated Rep Hango. 

For further information contact: Representative Laura Sibilia lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us, Representative Lisa Hango lhango@leg.state.vt.us, Representative Matt Birong MBirong@leg.state.vt.us  

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County Courier Q & A - Oct 1, 2020

The County Courier of Enosburg Falls VT is publishing a candidates’ Q & A. 
Here is this week’s question and my response:

QUESTION: Vermont's Land Use and Development law passed in 1970, better known as Act 250, has seen changes over it's 50 year lifespan. This year, the Vermont Legislature has struggled to come up with a compromise to update the law that would carry enough weight to get through both House and Senate, and get signed by the Governor. If you are elected, what changes would you work to implement when it comes to Land Use and Development?

 

ANSWER:  As of the deadline for this response, both the House and Senate had passed a much pared-down bill that only addressed two components of land development and use dealing with forest fragmentation and recreational trails; and it is awaiting action by the Governor. After extensive work on this bill, H.926, I am
disappointed to say that it cannot be considered Act 250 “reform” legislation by any stretch of the imagination. A true review of the prohibitive costs, time, and regulation associated with the 1970 act addressing land use and development needs to be undertaken and streamlined before any new measures are imposed. Vermonters want to be able to utilize their greatest asset - their land - through a process that is clear, concise, and user-friendly, none of which has been possible for the past 50 years. There can be no economic development without Act 250 reform, and I look forward to working with my colleagues from the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees to craft better legislation to allow for land use that boosts, rather than curtails, economic development.
Stay well,
Rep Lisa Hango 
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Legislative Update -Sept 21-24, 2020

Dear Constituents –

The 2020 Legislative session is complete – the House adjourned at  6:30pm on Friday, September 24 — never before has our General Assembly experienced such a session, and I hope itnever will again.  It is with great gratitude that I thank the Administration, the Legislative staff, and my colleagues for theirextended service to the people of Vermont.

The most important news for the week was the ability of a Committee of Conference to come to an agreement with the Governor’s recommendations for the budget, H.969. By passing this bill, we have accomplished what we needed to do to keep Vermont running for the rest of this fiscal year.

It has been a long, exhausting, unusual, and memorable session, and I am honored to have represented my District. I will continue to attend town and school district meetings as I am able and to be available for comments and concerns at lhango@leg.state.vt.us and through my website at www.hangoforhouse.com.

Thank you and stay well,

Representative Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5

Richford-Berkshire-Franklin-Highgate

 

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County Courier Q & A - Sept 24, 2020

The County Courier of Enosburg Falls VT publishes a weekly candidates’ Q & A. 
Here is this week’s question and my response:

QUESTION: The topic of police funding has become a hot topic nationwide since the high profile killings this year of several blacks throughout the United States. What is your view on the funding model of law enforcement in Vermont, and should Vermont institute additional laws that regulate police in the Green Mountain State?

ANSWER: Act 147, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in July 2020 was the first step towards addressing potential biases and curtailing potential deadly use of force. The Governor also issued Executive Order No. 03-20 on August 20, 2020,  which presents priorities for Public Safety Reform Initiatives.  These measures cannot be implemented overnight and demand that a thorough review of existing policies and procedures be undertaken and understood. Bills S.119, S.124, and S.24 were taken up, amended, and passed by the House just prior to press time, putting into place the framework for widespread public safely reform initiatives. Many advocates representing people of color and other vulnerable populations are requesting the Legislature to slow down on pushing through more bills pertaining to racial biases and/or changing the scope of law enforcement. We need to take time to heed their warning and to take testimony from a wide variety of witnesses, including law enforcement, before making judgments on further legislation that could be problematic for marginalized populations. We also must take seriously the need to examine the interaction of mental health issues with law enforcement activities. There is clearly much more work to be done, and it should be done in a thoughtful, measured approach going forward. 

Stay well,

Lisa

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Legislative Update - Sept 14-18, 2020

Dear Constituents –

Screen time for the House of Representatives this week has really picked up — Committees are meeting to hear testimony, draft bills, and listen to amendments.  The House and Senate are seeing hours of floor session to debate and pass bills before adjournment (hopefully) next week.  This week’s action included passing S.54 – Tax and Regulation of Cannabis – in concurrence with the Committee of Conference report, and overriding the Governor’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act, both of which I have shared concerns about with my constituents in this publication and on my website www.hangoforhouse.com. More screen time for the Franklin Selectboard and the Richford REAC Committee filled two evenings, and a wonderful extended family Zoom session took place on another.

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