Thursday, April 12, 2018

ABA Day in Washington

L to R Vermont in DC: President Dan Maguire, Representative Peter Welch, ABA Board member Fritz Langrock, VBA ED Teri Corsones and President-Elect Gary Franklin

President Dan Maguire, President-Elect Gary Franklin, Executive Director, Teri Corsones and ABA Board of Governors member, Fritz Langrock all traveled to Washington, DC this week for the American Bar Association's annual "lobby day." During the trip, they will attend meetings with each of our three Congressmen and/or their staff as part of a nationwide lobbying effort of attorneys.

As always, the focal part of the ask is to insure that Congress continues to fund the Legal Services Corporation to provide civil legal aid to low-income constituents.  While the main goal is to insure that the funding is not cut or eliminated as threatened, our state delegation will also be asking Congress to restore funding to the inflation-adjusted Fiscal Year 2010 level of $483 million (from last year's $385 million). This year's  efforts also include requesting preservation of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) to help those who choose to go into the field of public service.  This program lowers the primary barrier --student loan debt--that is keeping new graduates from pursuing public service careers.

Between and during meetings, they managed to get a few pictures in...

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Legislators Coffee 2018

The VBA was once again happy to host a legislators coffee in the Statehouse cafeteria last week.  Hosting included coffee, donuts, pocket constitutions and of course, the undoubtedly world-famous (or at least Vermont-famous) apple bread pudding made by our Executive Director Teri Corsones.  Six trays of the apple-rich treat were happily and gratefully devoured by legislators, pages, officers, VBA members and passersby at the nearly 2-hour event.

Heavily immersed in gun legislation, legislators from the House and Senate alike were excited to receive pocket constitutions from the VBA, some requesting that the Second Amendment be flagged with a post-it!  Attached to each constitution were cards with information about our Lawyer Referral Service, modest means program and VT Free Legal Answers, helping fulfill our mission of bridging the access to justice gap.  We also reminded legislators that our VBA members stand ready to volunteer to speak to schools or civic groups about the constitution on request.

VBA Government Relations guru, Bob Paolini, and Teri Corsones utilized the time to speak to legislators about the status of pending legislation that the VBA is following, like parentage, probate, leaselands, notaries, and more.  The session has been busy on all fronts, and the VBA continues to serve as our members' voice in the legislature.  Remember, Bob and Teri post to the VBA Connect online communities when any new issues arise, or if they require testimony from our members.  They are always available to hear your concerns regarding any pending legislation.

Please enjoy the pictures and all the smiles from the event, below; sorry, the apple bread pudding is ALL GONE!