Kelly Pajala

Substance-misuse prevention bill fosters connection

‘The bill might appear to be a small change but it is actually a substantial shift in policy and process’

As I write during the last few days of the legislative session, I am reflecting on the things that feel like actual accomplishments, even if they appear to be small.

I will say that “accomplishment” strikes me as being a bill that actually ends up becoming law.

Of course, in any given year, some legislation is often many years in the making. We saw several important examples: raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 (signed into law May 16), funding assistance for the deployment of broadband in underserved communities (passed by House and Senate May 17), and funding clean water initiatives (passed by House and Senate May 22).

Other laws seem to spring up suddenly because of specific circumstances in the here and now: protecting reproductive rights (passed House and Senate May 13), and banning internet sales of tobacco substitutes (signed into law May 16).

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Green Mountain Care Board begins health care reform effort in earnest

The five members of the recently appointed Green Mountain Care Board have their work cut out for them. Anya Rader Wallack, the board's chair, reeled off a daunting to-do list for each of the new members at the board's first official meeting on Oct. 4. Dr. Allan Ramsay, a...

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