Roll Call! Senate Establishes “Truth” Commission with $748,000 (22-7), 2022


in the State Senate
on May 3, 2022, by a vote of

Purpose: H.96 would create the Vermont Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Their 3 part charge:

  1. Beginning the process of “dismantling institutional, structural, and systemic discrimination in Vermont, both past and present, that has been caused or permitted by State laws and policies.”
  2. “Establishing a public record of institutional, structural, and systemic discrimination in Vermont that has been caused or permitted by State laws and policies.”
  3. “Identifying potential actions that can be taken by the State to repair the damage caused by institutional, structural, and systemic discrimination Vermont that has been caused or permitted by State laws and policies and prevent the recurrence of such discrimination in the future.”

Finding the people for the commission is a multistep process. First, a 5 person appointment panel of top state officials would appoint 7 people to a selection panel. The selection panel would appoint a commission of 3 individuals. These 3 “commissioners” could hire up to four full-time staff and/or contractors, and up to 30 additional people to serve on various committees, giving them up to a $1000 annual stipend. 45 individuals would be involved in the process. The commission would begin its selection process in 2023, disbanding by 2026, with assurance that this Truth Commission will not become a ”permanent fixture of government.”

Those voting YES believe the Truth Commission will unearth nuances about the past impact of racism, discrimination and eugenics in Vermont laws and offer ways to make them less discriminatory.

Those voting NO believe the Truth Commission amounts to a bureaucratic “colossus,” of several dozen individuals unaccountable to the general public. The $748,000 would be better spent on the child care crisis or on schools.

As Recorded in the Senate Journal, Tuesday, May 3, 2022: "Thereupon, the proposal of amendment recommended by the Committee on Government Operations, as amended, was agreed to on a roll call, Yeas 22, Nays 7" (Read the Journal, p. 1095 - 1106).

View the floor debate on YouTube.

Roll Call! House Declares Racism a “Public Health Emergency” (135-8), 2021

These roll call reports are designed to help citizens understand how their elected representatives vote on key issues. The bills may or may not eventually become law. Click on the link to the bill page at the top of this post for an up to date status on the bill.

How They Voted

Becca Balint (D-Windham) – YES
Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden) – YES
Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) – NO
Christopher Bray (D-Addison) – YES
Randy Brock (R-Franklin) – NO
Brian Campion (D-Bennington) – YES
Thomas Chittenden (D-Chittenden) – YES
Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor) – YES
Brian Collamore (R-Rutland) – NO
Ann Cummings (D-Washington) – YES
Ruth Hardy (D-Addison) – YES
Cheryl Hooker (D-Rutland) – YES
Russ Ingalls (R-Essex-Orleans) – NO
M. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia) – YES
Virginia Lyons (D-Chittenden) – YES
Mark MacDonald (D-Orange) – YES
Richard Mazza (D-Chittenden-Grand Isle) – NO
Richard McCormack (D-Windsor) – YES
Alice Nitka (D-Windsor District) – YES
Corey Parent (R-Franklin) – NO
Chris Pearson (P-Chittenden) – YES
Andrew Perchlik (D-Washington) – YES
Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington) – YES
Kesha Ram (D-Chittenden) – YES
Richard Sears (D-Bennington) – YES
Michael Sirotkin (D-Chittenden) – YES
Robert Starr (D-Essex-Orleans) – NO
Joshua Terenzini (R-Rutland) – ABSENT
Richard Westman (R-Lamoille) – YES
Jeanette White (D-Windham) – YES

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