2011 Legislative Session at a glance

Paul Burns, VPIRG Executive Diretor reflects on a successful legislative session:

I really do love my job.

Every day I get to work for things like affordable health care, clean energy and safe products in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I’m surrounded by smart, committed people who work really hard and occasionally enjoy a fine Vermont beer after work!

One of my favorite things about directing VPIRG is that by working with members like you and our partners across the state, we manage to get things done that my colleagues in other states can only dream about. Consider our list of accomplishments in the legislative session that just ended on Friday:

  • High quality health care in Vermont is on track to become available to all at an affordable cost. Vermont is literally leading the nation in creating a sustainable system of care.
  • It’ll be easier for homeowners and businesses to invest in solar energy and other clean energy programs under legislation VPIRG helped to craft.
  • You’ll have convenient locations close to home to take your used compact fluorescent light bulbs under a new law we helped to pass. These energy efficiency bulbs contain tiny amounts of mercury that the manufacturers will be responsible for recycling properly.
  • More women will be able to choose home births for their babies under a new law that requires insurance companies to cover midwifery services, including home births.
  • Vermont joined a growing list of states backing a National Popular Vote system for electing the President.
  • In addition to all those amazing victories, we also effectively opposed beverage industry plans to weaken or repeal Vermont’s Bottle Bill recycling program and Entergy Louisiana’s desire for a ‘do-over’ vote on the future of Vermont Yankee in the Legislature.

Any one or two of those victories would have been impressive in less than 18 weeks, but all together they stand as a truly amazing achievement!

We’re already at work in the Montpelier office on our next campaigns. But I didn’t want to let this moment pass without saying THANK YOU to all of you who helped to make this kind of progress possible in Vermont. We couldn’t do this without you!

Check out some of VPIRG’s great moments this year: