Legislator’s Column: Message From Montpelier

Legislative Report from Rep. Dennis Devereux for Ludlow, Mount Holly and Plymouth

Sometimes bills in Montpelier take unplanned twist and turns. The vital records bill, which my committee was ready to present to the full house, was delayed for several weeks. There were some sections that required input from other committees. It was necessary to rewrite these sections rather than use many amendments to improve the language. One concern moved the increased copying fees to be consolidated into just one section. More important was inserting specific language from the state court administrators’ office for the new alert system being created to deal with fraudulent attempts to access confidential information. We also needed fiscal notes to understand the financial impact to the state to implement the changes.

The result will create a law that brings our vital records security system up to national standards, and one we hope which discourages a dishonest person from requesting certified copies of birth or death certificates. The Vermont Department of Health will implement these changes, and have a system to gather and share health statistics with other states. We will also see an increase in the protection of our personal information.

I am often asked about my feelings concerning universal health care. I start by stating that while it would be great to provide health care to every Vermonter, I am very concerned our state seems to have too few paying into the system to make it sustainable. I think we need to know more about the costs and who would pay. Also that my wanting to be cautious does not mean I want people to go without health insurance.  It seems that as the costs to cover everyone become clearer, it will also be evident that we cannot afford to move ahead on our own.

Some of the senate proposals, which I like, look at the cost controls prior to full implementation. As a retiree, I know that many in my position would probably not be paying into the system. Some are on the verge of deciding whether or not they want to remain full-time residents of our state. We might end up only driving more people out. Sometimes rushing into something is worse than doing nothing.

We will most likely be out of session by the end of the second week of May. I hope that many of you will contact me with your concerns before we start again in January. When we are out of session, you can reach me with a message at 802-259-2460 or ddevereux@leg.state.vt.us .

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