1/17/2020  An Opportunity in Vermont
Guest Blogger Joe Yoder Goddard Alum                                        
Who am I?  I’m just a guy from Vermont. I’ve had nothing to do with sex work (so far, in my first 64 years). But I do have strong feelings about human rights, and I live in a state that has a long and strong history of standing up for them.

 
Our annual state legislative session began last week, and a State Representative named Selene Colburn Progressive Party/ Burlington SColburn@leg.state.vt.us  has introduced a bill to “protect sex workers from the risks inherent in the illicit profession” Vermont House Bill H.569
 
This bill would repeal current sex work statutes prohibiting the act. Human trafficking and the sale of sex that is coerced in any way would still be illegal under the legislation, but it would decriminalize the sale of sex between two consenting adults.
 
• At this writing, the bill is co-sponsored by
• Rep. Diana Gonzalez
dgonzalez@leg.state.vt.us
• Rep. Maxine Grad
mgrad@leg.state.vt.us
• Rep. Emilie Kornheiser
ekornheiser@leg.state.vt.us
 
 
Here’s the text of the bill as Introduced:
https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2020/Docs/BILLS/H-0569/H-0569%20As%20Introduced.pdf 
 
And, another bill:   Vermont House Bill H.568   Proposes to  “Provide limited immunity from criminal prosecution to a person if he or she reports to law enforcement that he or she is a victim of or a witness to a crime that arose from his or her involvement in prostitution or human trafficking and to create a Sex Work Study Committee for the purpose of examining and modernizing the state’s prostitution laws.”
 
H.568 was introduced by Representatives Grad of Moretown, Colburn of Burlington, and Jessup of Middlesex (all women)
 
Here’s the text of the bill as Introduced:
https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2020/Docs/BILLS/H-0568/H-0568%20As%20Introduced.pdf
 
Vermont has a seasonal (January through May) legislative session. Bills that have strong support early in the session (as in NOW!) stand the best chance of turning into an actual law.
 
I’ve already written to my two house reps and three state senators. Two positive responses have come back so far. Other than my own friends and family, I don’t yet know of any other people who would lobby for this. But I do know that even a few people can make a real difference in VT politics. We’re a small state. Our legislators are usually happy to hear from people.
       
 
Questions? Suggestions?  Please feel free to contact me: Joe Yoder     joe@tinysolarvermont.com

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Thank you for allowing me to share this with the global community! – M. Dante 

Joe and Melanie met at Goddard College Alum Gathering, Plainfield, VT 2018 – 2019