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it provides all people in Vermont free        access to what resources are available in    your community.
(This service is also online at
www.vermont211.org)


For State Help Programs,try the Agency of Human Services, "Screen Door" online access tool...you can  find out what kind of help that fits your needs and where you can find it.

http://www.screendoor.vermont.gov/


Over 60?

INTERESTED IN FREE, NUTRITIOUS FOOD?

CALL NOW! 1-800-214-4648 -
to download an application

http://www.vtfoodbank.org/OurPrograms.../CSFP.aspx

Apllications are also available at the Putney Food Shelf or by calling Mike at 802.387.8787



Note: Each eligible person receives his or her own food box. People can participate in other commodity programs at the same time, but they cannot be enrolled at more than one CSFP site.


WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
- 60 years of age or older, living in Vermont and income-eligible.
- A child under 6 years of age and not already in the WIC program.
- A woman who is pregnant or post-partum for less than a year and
not already in the WIC program.
- Individual and/or household income will be used to determine eligibility.
- Each household member may be eligible, and will need to complete an application form


Mid-Session Legislative Report March 2016



Up in the Beehive of activity at the Statehouse this year, it’s busy as usual, as your part time citizen legislature tries to cram a years worth of work into 4 months.


My  committee is House Human Services, and this year  it has taken on a greater  urgency - in some instances, it has literally, become a matter of life or death.


With  the headline deaths of two young children at the hands of family members two years ago, and then the murder of a state social worker by a distraught parent- these are some of the concerns we are dealing with. And, since the murder last summer, the number of copy cats who have called with threatening messages for DCF workers has doubled.Workers have asked for protection for when they’re coming in and out of work and new protocols for home visits are being established.

These are dire concerns that need to be addressed and we are.

There is good news also, coming out of the Agency of Human Services...our programs  to help families out of poverty seem to be working, and we are actually  seeing a  reduction in those families needing public assistance for the third year in a row.

In 2012, there were 5,107 families in the Reach Up Program, our program to serve families in need….. in 2015 we had 3,990 families in this poverty assistance program. That’s 20 per cent less over three years.

We hope to continue that trend, and having a growing economy can help that …And, that’s where there’s some more good news.

The Vt. economy continues to grow, perhaps at a slower rate than we’d like, at 3% but it is growing. 

Also, Vermont was one of the few states  that saw an increase in real wages-and Vermont’s unemployment rate is still one of the lowest in the country.

I mention this  as there is an election coming up in November…Being a year we will elect a new President and a new Governor, and there is a lot of political rhetoric flowing forth.  In the Presidential primary, at least one one side of the circus, the rhetoric has been, in my view way out of line and certainly doesn’t measure up to what I would call Civil Discourse.

In Vermont, there are some who say our economy is all Gloom and Doom…that the administration and legislature aren’t taking good care of the budget, nor the economy.

I would offer an opinion that says otherwise…and so it goes.

How do Vermonters make an informed opinion about th economy and the fiscal policies of the state?

What I would like to share next , is not my opinion nor an opinion of any opponent, but this is from the Press Release from Moody's Financial Services, the folks that set the bar on what sound fiscal policy is.

Here's what they have to say about Vermont;.

The Aaa rating reflects Vermont's strong financial management, which features conservative fiscal policies, consistent governance, and a proven commitment to maintaining healthy reserve balances. The state's debt is modest, and its economy, while small for a state, is vibrant. 

The stable outlook reflects the state's proven ability to continue operating on a balanced basis and maintaining a solid rainy day fund balance regardless of economic cycles. The outlook also anticipates slow progress toward achieving stronger funding of the state's pension liabilities. 

That's not my opinion ,that’s from Moody's Financial Services.

There are a host of other issues we are dealing with at the Statehouse,from Agriculture to Adult Protective Services, and Transportation to Telecommunications.

All 25 standing committees of the House and Senate have  a list of issues important to them,  and legislators need to keep track of them all, but Two of the hotter issues have been Financing reform in Health Insurance and Education.

Our Health Insurance reform continues ,and later this year you will be hearing more about Accountable Care organizations as a way to control spending in health care

And, regarding Education and property taxes, there are certainly many concerns that have been raised statewide and locally about Act 46.This has been the attempt to slow down school spending as student enrollment declines, by way of consolidating school districts.

I am one that  hoped we had taken more time on this bill and not tried to impose a one-size fits all solution on us.

Locally our schools are doing a good job of educating our children, and where costs are a problem, I feel we would do well to focus on the drivers of those costs, especially those costs that local schools have no control over like health insurance and special education.

We haven’t heard the last of this bill, and it will be a work in progress. we tweaked the bill this year to remove the spending caps on the 2018 budget and I hope we will continue to work on it, to help support schools to provide the supports schools to do the important job of educating our kids- the future of Vermont.

On the Home front, I want to some news about one of my volunteer activities,  with the Putney Affordable or WorkForce Housing Committee.This  is a group of about a dozen of us Putney residents who believe the future of Putney and Vermont depends on working people being able to afford to buy a home, most especially young adults who want to stay or come to Vermont.

We are an aging population and if we don’t act to promote more Work Force housing, Vermont’s future will have some large question marks on it’s landscape.

Luckily, we have the Windham-Windsor Housing Trust locally and they have a plan to create 21 units of Workforce Housing on the site of Newman Hall off of Old Depot Road. I mention it because we want folks to have plenty of notice about this project and plenty of good information. So, on March 31 at 7pm , there will be an informational meeting on this project at the Putney Fire House and all are welcome - and please spread the word., as this is the kind of project we need to maintain our work force in Putney and Vermont.

In closing,  I want to thank my district mate David Deen for his years of hard work as a champion of a cleaner environment and cleaner water  and 

Lastly, I want to remind you that we want to hear from you, and to feel free to be in touch. I can be emailed at;

mmrowicki@leg.state.vt.us

Most of all I want to thank you for the opportunity to listen, to act and to represent you in keeping Vermont the best place to live.  Thank you much!

Mike  Mrowicki

Vt. State Representative

Windham 4 District

Putney, Dummerston, Westminster