Vermont House Overwhelmingly Approves Homecare Bill

Provider Mary Montgomery and recipient Denise Hok at the podium joined by homecare advocates

On May 1st, the Vermont Legislature passed S.59, overwhelmingly passing the Homecare Bill and sending it on to the Governor’s desk for signage. It was a great day for the bill’s approval as it coincided with activities sponsored by The Vermont Workers’ Center.

Homecare workers rallied in front of the State House to celebrate the passage of the homecare bill. At the podium, care givers Mary Montgomery and Amanda Sheppard joined Denise Hok, a care recipient, to explain how the homecare bill will make their lives better.

“Homecare workers like myself work every day to ensure our clients live their lives with independence and dignity,” said Mary Montgomery, a provider from Washington, Vt. Passage of the bill, she added, “is a big step toward ensuring providers like me are given that same dignity in the workplace.”

Provider Amanda Sheppard from Middlebury said, “the rights granted by the bill will help stabilize me and and my clients.”

Provider Theresa Bach reaching out to recipient Denise Hok

Denise Hok, a care recipient from Brattleboro, Vt., is also happy that the providers are on their way to having their own union with real strength through collective bargaining.

“Because in years past working as a homecare provider in Vermont was not seen as a viable career path. Providers that have cared for me have been forced to make the impossible choice between the work they love and providing for their own families,” continued Hok.  With final passage of the home care bill, “providers will be treated with the same respect and dignity that I’ve been shown as a consumer over the last twenty years.”

After the rally, homecare advocates met with legislators to discuss the experiences and thank them for supporting this important legislation.

Supportive legislators, Rep. Jean O’Sullivan, Sen. John Campbell and Sen. David Zuckerman, join homecare activists at the State House before the overwhelming voice vote favoring the bill

AFSCME is working with Vermont caregivers to ensure that homecare services are adequately funded and that personal care attendants are paid for the hours they work. Follow us Facebook Twiter RSS