H.202 Signing

 

Governor Shumlin signing VT H.202 into Law

26 May 2011 – Comments by Julie Lineberger

Vermont, once again, is leading the nation with its tradition of independent thinking.  We have done this many times including being the first state in the nation to ban slavery, to incorporate universal education, to enact Civil Unions, to make marriage equality law without a judicial order. We are also one of the first states in the nation to allow businesses to incorporate with a charter of social responsibility as a For Benefit Corporation. And now this!

Truly, this is more than just a health care law; it is economic development for the state of Vermont.  With an equal playing field, Vermont businesses can compete in the Global Marketplace.  When our businesses no longer spend 15% – 30% of payroll on health insurance, they can invest in more Vermont employees and higher wages.

Vermont also leads the nation with a very special business organization that believes our success is measured not only in dollars, but also in how we treat our employees, how we interact with our communities and how lightly we walk on this earth.  With over 1200 business members, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility represents approximately 15% of Vermont’s workforce.  We are the largest, most active Businesses for Social Responsibility in the United States, leading the way for others.  As VBSR Board Chair, I am honored to be speaking here today.

For 20 years VBSR has worked to decouple health insurance from paychecks. Who decided that only those people working for companies that can afford health insurance are worthy of health care?

This law about to be signed is the culmination of many peoples efforts.  It is an example of how governmental bodies, non-profit organizations and, leading the pack, business owners can work together to affect positive outcomes.  Our nimble State of Vermont takes action where other States waffle.

Thank you, Governor Shumlin for your vision, foresight and commitment.  Thank you Dr. Deb Richter for your tireless effort and coming to Vermont where one person can make a difference. Thank you to all House Committee members who worked for balance and to bring this to the floor under the exceptional leadership of Mark Larson.  Thank you Senator Claire Ayer of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee for leadership in bringing this to the floor for a vote. Thank you House Representatives and your Speaker, Shap Smith for starting the ball rolling.  Thank you State Senators and President Pro Tem John Campbell for guidance through the Senate.

This business community applauds you.  The nation is watching you!  With this law, you sure have your work cut out for you, and those here are willing to roll up our sleeves and help!

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One Comment on “H.202 Signing”


  1. Julie, what a wonderful sequel to your beloved “Letter to Grandpa,” which I’ve missed tremendously this past year! I love your clear, expository writing laced with progressive thinking! I look forward to reading LifeSync on a regular basis.
    And, yes, I agree with all your points…Governor Shumlin is a visionary leader who rounds out our state’s remarkable pantheon of progressive leadership that makes Vermont the best place to live, period.
    Congratulations, Julie! You’ve done it again.


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