I am honored to serve you as Vermont’s 80th Lieutenant Governor. As a small business owner, farmer, former Legislator, husband, and father I look forward to working with all Vermonters to ensure our state remains a viable, beautiful, and safe place to live.
In Vermont, the Lieutenant Governor has three constitutional duties:
- Standing in for the Governor when the Governor is out of state, and becoming acting Governor if the current Governor cannot perform the duties due to death or other circumstances;
- Presiding over the Senate;
- Casting a tie-breaking vote in the Senate if necessary.
I look forward to additional opportunities to serve Vermonters. I believe our democracy is strongest and works the best when participation is high. Having been a Representative and Senator for 18 years prior to being elected your Lt. Governor, I have seen the power of individuals getting involved in legislation that will impact their lives.
COVID-19 Update: I have been hearing from a lot of Vermonters with questions and concerns about the impact of the novel Coronavirus, Covid-19, on their family and our communities. There is an abundance of information that shows that to slow the spread and flatten the curve, social distancing is the most important step that can be taken. Additional preventative actions can also be taken. Please go to the department of health website for further, up to date, information on the steps you can take: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus
Here are some key Resources:
Vermont Legal Aid is also available to help with questions regarding payment of rent and mortgage; go to https://vtlawhelp.org/housing.
For employers seeking guidance, go to the Agency for Commerce & Community Development page at https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19-guidance.
Federal and state income tax deadlines are currently shifted from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020; state Meals & Room Tax and Sales & Use tax payments are also modified. Go to https://tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus.
For employees seeking unemployment assistance, you can file your claim online: https://vermont.force.com/DOLClaim/s/ as well as at this automated phone line: 800-983-2300. Go to https://labor.vermont.gov or call 1-877-214-3332 or 1-888-807-7072.
Gov. Scott has ordered Vermont residents to stay at home and directed businesses and non-profits to cease “in-person” operations by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.
Under Scott’s order, people in Vermont are permitted to leave their homes “only for essential reasons critical to health and safety.” This includes buying groceries and medicine and for exercise.
Read the directive here.
- Governor Scott on Monday, March 23, signed an order directing all businesses and not-for-profit entities - to the maximum extent possible - to put into place telecommuting or work-from-home procedures, no later than 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23. He also told Vermonters to prepare for a forthcoming announcement on further restrictions and a stay-at-home directive.
- Ordering “close contact” businesses, including gyms, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities, hair salons and barbers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors to close all in-person operations no later than 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23.
This is a rapidly changing environment and challenging for all of us in our business and personal lives.
What should I do if I think I have the virus?
If you have fever, cough, difficulty breathing and your symptoms feel worse than a common cold and you have travelled to an affected area within 14 days of symptom onset, call Vermont Department of Health Epidemiology at 802-863-7240. If you have been exposed to the 2019 novel coronavirus, including during travels, staying home, and limiting contact with others will help prevent further spread. If you are sick or concerned about your health, contact your health care provider by phone. Please avoid going to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation. More here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-basic-fact-sheet%20English-formatted.pdf
First and foremost, we must protect the people working on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic: teachers, school staff, child care workers, health care workers, police, fire and EMS personnel, staff at licensed homes for older Vermonters and people with disabilities, and food service employees.
RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS
Department of Labor FAQs for Employers and Employees
Specific guidance for Employers
Specific Guidance for Employees
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATION
Agency of Education Guidance to Schools:
AOE Food Service Guidance During School Closures:
SBA Emergency Loans Available to All Vermont Small Businesses
The Small Business Administration has approved Governor Scott’s request for a disaster declaration. Disaster assistance is available to businesses and non-profit organizations in all Vermont counties.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) offer up to $2 million in assistance per business, providing economic support to overcome temporary loss of revenue. EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private non-profit organizations, which are also eligible for EIDLs.
To apply online, visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. Documents that may be requested when applying include recent federal tax return, profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet.
For more information, call the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or e-mail email@example.com. For local SBA information, call 802-828-4422.
ACCD encourages businesses to seek professional business counseling and technical assistance before taking on additional debt. Vermont has a robust business technical assistance provider network. More information about these resources can be found online at https://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/resources
I have been encouraged by all of the community organizing that has been going on all across the state to make sure that we are taking care of each other. We are fortunate to live in Vermont and to have such strong communities.
We will update this as more information comes in.