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Legislative Update - Jan 15, 2021

Dear Constituents

The first full week back in session was truly full — typically, Legislators use Mondays to attend to constituent issues, bills we are working on that are unrelated to bills assigned to our Committees, and local meetings.  This week, Monday seemed particularly busy! Because of using remote platforms like Zoom, Advocacy groups no longer have to schedule to meet with us while we are at the Statehouse, so they can arrange meetings at any time during the week, and Monday was a day scheduledwith meetings on banking, municipal governance, child development, and food insecurity.

On the House floor, bills are being introduced and committed to the Committees of jurisdiction, several of which have been referred to my Committee, the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee.  The scope of our work is such that we currently have possession of bills that deal with collective bargaining for public school employee health benefits, whistleblower protection for law enforcement, basic needs and livable wage, and National Guard employment protections, among other legislation that is being introduced on a daily basis.Some of these bills will remain on the wall, while others are given Committee time, and they can be found on the webpage for each Committee on the General Assembly website. All members also took part in mandatory training on Sexual Harassment in the workplace.

In Committee, we are hearing testimony on the response to COVID-19 from various housing agencies, hearing bill introductions, receiving general housekeeping updates on the use of our website and iPads, being introduced to the attorneys who serve our Committee, and discussing the writing and introducing of legislation.  We also had a briefing from the National Guard on the deployment of Vermont soldiers to Washington DC for the Presidential Inauguration and from Senator Leahy’s office on the latest round of federal Coronavirus relief funding.

I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of the Vermont Commission on Women one evening, and I greatly appreciatedhearing the data that was presented on how COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting women in Vermont, which I learned more about the next day in a joint Committee hearing with the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee and the Joint Fiscal Office. The focus of that meeting spotlighted Vermont having the highest unemploymentclaims for women in the US and the lack of childcarereinforcing those numbers, both crucial issues that face Vermont families.  

It is an honor to be back in the virtual Statehouse to serve the needs of my district with Rep Paul Martin.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at LHango@leg.state.vt.us or Paul at PMartin@leg.state.vt.us

Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango

Franklin-5 Richford-Berkshire-Franklin-Highgate

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Response to J.R.H.1 - Jan 11,2020

For those who have been following the media on Resolution J.R.H.1, I was asked to explain why I would not support it, and rather than letting someone else tell my story, I choose to tell it myself:

 I did not co-sign the Resolution; it is not necessary to be a co-signer if one supports a Resolution or a bill, and I chose not to in this case. Also, if one did not sign onto this Resolution, it also doesn’t mean that one implicitly supports or doesn’t support the actions or words of the President. As I stated in Caucus, I could not support the accusatory, inflammatory language of the Resolution as it was written. I hoped for the time to work through the language to make it less reactionary and more accurate, as the facts become more widely known, but that was not forthcoming. An important Resolution such as this, crafted and voted on within one day of an event at the Nation’s Capitol that I condemn for its unnecessary violence, on Day 2 of the Vermont Legislative session, is not to be taken lightly or at face value. Rushing this through the Vermont House and Senate without proper investigation at a national level, without giving us at the State level time to process the information as it is coming to us, only serves to further divide Vermonters when we need to be working together on the very important business of getting Vermont back in business. 
 
I was elected to serve the needs of my constituents, like those who have reached out to me this week asking (for instance) when they will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, when they can expect their unemployment benefits, and when they are going to get their internet connection fixed. I was elected not to legislate national politics, but to assist my neighbors in Franklin-5 and throughout Vermont in accessing their daily needs. I have a history of collaboration with all parties, and I take pride in being able to work across the aisle to achieve these common goals, asking the tough questions and getting the answers that Vermonters deserve. There will never be unanimous agreement on all issues, but a multi-party system ensures that these discussions best serve the needs of all of the people. 
 
I have faith that, with my fellow Legislators, we will find a way past this crisis to do the work we in the Legislature were elected to do, which is to put the pandemic behind us through vaccination and the current health and safety measures and to propel the Vermont economy into post-COVID-19 recovery. 

Thank you for that honor. 
Stay well,
Lisa
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Legislative Update -Jan 8, 2021

Dear Constituents

With virtual swearing-in ceremonies on January 6, the 2021 Legislative Session has begun! We will be working remotelyfrom our home offices until at least March 9, so you will be able to keep track of your Legislators by following all House and Senate proceedings live-streamed or recorded on YouTube and seeing us at online local meetings.

These first few days involved new members being seated, oaths being taken, and Committees being assigned – I will be continuing my work on the General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee, as requested, which fits well with my responsibilities co-chairing the National Guard Legislative Caucus. It was nice to learn about our new Committee members, including Fairfax Rep Barbara Murphy, before we dove into this week’s testimony.  We received updates from the Department of Children and Families, the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont State Housing Authority, and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency detailing their use of the Coronavirus Relief Funds money that we allocated to those agencies for housing needs. It was indeed encouraging to hear how many households were served during the past six months and how quickly those funds were deployed.  Certainly our Agency of Human Resources and its Community Partners deserve to be commended for the effort they undertook during this pandemic to ensure that the most vulnerable Vermonters were safely housed.

At district school board meetings this week, budget talks were the topic of the evening, as school directors grappled with the difficult decisions involved with keeping tax rate increases at a minimum while maintaining important programming for students who have even greater needs during this time of remote and hybrid learning.  

The Rural Legislative Working Group Caucus met and discussed legislative priorities specifically for rural communities around increasing access to broadband. As many of you know, this is a priority for me, having watched households struggle with access when learning and work went remote last year.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with your comments and concerns at LHango@leg.state.vt.us .

Stay well,

Representative Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5

Richford-Berkshire-Franklin-Highgate

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Season’s Greetings 2020

Dear Constituents –

 

I would like to take this opportunity to share Season’s Greetings with you all! However you will be celebrating this year, may it be a time of hope, joy and peace.  My New Year’s resolution is simple – to help Vermont and Franklin County remain the place we want to live and do business in, and I will work to the best of my ability to meet that goal.

I wish you and yours all the best for 2021 – good health, community connections, and to be able to put the COVID-19 crisis behind us.

Please reach out to me at LHango@leg.state.vt.us with any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.  It is a privilege and an honor to serve you.

 

Happy Holidays and Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango

Franklin-5

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Election Thank You 2020

Dear Constituents –

It with heartfelt gratitude that I have been elected to represent Franklin-5 in the Vermont Legislature. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to work for the best interests of my District, along with Paul Martin, in the Statehouse. Thank you to everyone who provided me with support – kind words, financial donations, displaying a lawn sign – your assistance made the difference! I look forward to serving another term. Please contact me at lhango@leg.state.vt.us or through my website www.hangoforhouse.com with your concerns or comments.

Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango

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Election Day 2020

Dear Constituents –

The countdown is on! Tomorrow is Election Day 2020!

I hope I have seen you this past week as I’ve traveled around the District doing sign waves at various, busy intersections. It has been an honor to serve as your Representative, and I’m asking for your vote at the polls so I can continue to bring your voice to the Statehouse.

If you have already voted, thank you for fulfilling your civic duty as an American; if you have not, there is still time – bring your ballot to your Town Clerk today or vote in person on Tuesday, November 3.  A ballot not voted is a voice unheard, and Montpelier needs to hear your voices! Always feel welcome to reach out to me at lhango@leg.state.vt.us or www.hangoforhouse.com – I always listen and try my best to do the research and vote accordingly.

ALSO - if you are graciously displaying my lawn signs, I will be around Wednesday to pick them up, as statutes dictate - THANK YOU!


Thank you in advance for returning me to the Statehouse!

Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango

Franklin-5

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County Courier Q & A - Oct 29, 2020

The County Courier of Enosburg Falls VT is running a candidates’ Q & A forum. 
Here is this week’s question and myQUESTION: If elected, most of the bills that you will likely work on will not be polarizing, but every biennium there are polarizing bills that are impossible to satisfy all your constituents with a singular vote. How do you expect to approach bills that are polarizing to your constituents?

ANSWER: During the 18 months that I have been in the Legislature, I’ve worked diligently to cultivate civil relationships with all of my colleagues. I enjoy interacting with people, and I find it interesting getting to know folks from all over the State and hearing the stories of what brought them to Montpelier. Although many of us are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, there isn’t another Legislator that I haven’t found some common ground with  - children’s activities, where we grew up, concern for our older parents - and those connections go a long way towards tempering the rhetoric when the discussion gets contentious so we can interact with each in a respectful manner. Going forward, I plan to build on those relationships to formulate compromises where there are similar goals and polite debate where there are divided opinions. There are some issues that have absolute “sides”, and there will never be agreement - on those issues, I will stand my ground and vote according to my constituents’ wishes as they align with my own beliefs. This is where your voice is heard loudly and clearly - please contact me at lhango@leg.state.vt.us with any concerns that you have about upcoming legislation. I read and acknowledge all correspondence and listen to the wishes of my constituents.  If I am elected, it will be because a majority of you support my voting record and would like to see me continue to work towards common solutions for all Vermonters.  For a better idea of my values and beliefs, please visit my website www.hangoforhouse.com. It is truly an honor to represent my constituents in the Statehouse. 

Stay well,

Lisa 

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NWATV interview - Oct 5, 2020

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Campaign Update 2020

Dear Constituents –

I hope this note finds you and your family all well and safe!

If you have not already cast your ballot, NOW is the time to mail them or be prepared to deliver them to your Town Clerk in person or to vote in person on Election Day!

By now, you should have received in your mailbox three County-wide mailers from the Franklin County Republican Party, and one from myself, incumbent Representative Lisa Hango and Republican Paul Martin, who is running for the second seat in our Franklin-5 District (Highgate-Franklin-Berkshire-Richford).  I hope you have also seen our digital ads pop up as you search the Internet — this is the first year that we have utilized this technology, and I am anxious to know how it was perceived; please contact me through this website www.hangoforhouse.com if you have seen our ads and whatyour impression is.

Once again, I would like to thank all of you for the support you have shown me during this campaign – financial donations, hosting a lawn sign, words of encouragement, and belief in my ability to lead Franklin-5 into better times — it makes the difference for me! It has been an honor to serve as your appointed Representative, and I look forward to continuing as your duly elected Representative in the next biennium.

I welcome your comments and concerns at lhango@leg.state.vt.us or www.hangoforhouse.com !

Please vote for LISA A HANGO for Vermont House of Representatives — I thank you for your support!

Stay well,

Lisa

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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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