As a pre-schooler in the early-1970’s, I feasted on a steady diet of Sesame Street, Brady Bunch….and Zoom! Who’d a thunk that nearly a half-century later I’d be spending a good chunk of my days with Zoom looking at a Brady Bunch screen? Since Governor Scott’s emergency declaration on March 13th and with the community spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout Vermont, the State House building has closed. The work of the Vermont legislature has moved to kitchen tables and home offices and Zoom screens across the state. While I was initially concerned that the legislature’s remote work deliberations would reduce transparency to the general public, in many ways the work of the General Assembly

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/30/20)

Local leaders, I neglected to put this into the "express envelope" last evening. I'll chalk it up to staff error. First, and of most direct importance to municipalities, yesterday afternoon the Governor signed both H.681 and H.742, the bills the legislature passed last week that extend unemployment insurance, expand health care worker licensing, and temporarily amend the state's open meeting and election laws. If you haven't already seen this memorandum from the Secretary of State, this may be useful information for you and your town committees. Second, in addition to further amending his emergency declaration to require travelers to Vermont from New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey to hom

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/27/20)

Town Leaders, What day is it? The legislature operates on a strict Tuesday through Friday calendar with very predictable times we meet on the Floor (Tuesdays @ 10am, Wednesdays at 1pm, etc.), when committees break for lunch (always noon-1pm), and deadlines when legislation has to be completed and sent to the Senate (second Friday after Town Meeting Day). With the legislature now having telephonic meetings seven days a week, being home confined, and having kids around all the time, every day is exactly the same. Except, of course, that everything seems to be monumentally changing daily. I caught myself today thinking it was Wednesday. So, as we jump into some information I have to share,

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/26/20)

Town Leaders, First, today Governor Scott closed Vermont schools for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year. You can read the Governor's directive here. Schools had originally been closed for in-person instruction until April 6th. The Agency of Education will give guidance regarding end of school year gatherings and graduations by May 8th. Second, Senator Leahy announced today that the Federal stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Senate would send approximately $2 billion Vermont's way. While his announcement did not breakdown what the $2 billion would go to, it did provide the following detail: $1.25 billion, from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, would to support state and c

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/25/20)

Town Leaders, Back to drinking from the fire hose today in the wake of the Governor's new Executive Order last evening directing VTers to close businesses and stay home. Again, if you haven't read it, take a look. Important directives in there on what businesses/non-profits can continue to report to work and which must stay home and/or work remotely. First, today I spoke with several business owners and leaders about how the Executive Order does or does not apply to them. Here is an announcement, with several links to additional information, that came out of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) today: Governor Scott’s March 24, 2020 Addendum 6 to Executive Order 01-20 r

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/24/20)

Town Leaders, I'll keep it short this evening because there was not much to report on the policy front today......until 5:00pm when the Governor issued his "stay at home" order effectively closing all businesses and non-profits in the state as of tomorrow at 5pm. You can read the directive here. I recommend it to you. It lays out who is exempted and how long it's in effect. Today, the House did a great deal of work understanding the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on state finances. It is not pretty, to say the least. Until it is clear how, and how much, federal funding will flow down to the states, it is unclear how devastating this crisis will be to state (and municipal and school) budge

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/23/20)

Town leaders, Thank you for the great ideas that you shared on the philanthropic front. They were very helpful as I've already passed these along to a couple of constituents I spoke with over the weekend. Let me know if you have others. Things I learned today (and yesterday) that might be of interest to you: First, some very important news out of the VT Department of Taxes. For our local restaurants and hotels that are hurting, the state has deferred the collection (no interest or penalties) of rooms & meals taxes for businesses that cannot make payment at this time. Importantly for municipal governments, the filing deadline for the VT Homestead Declaration and Property Tax Credit Claims

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

With the first deaths of Vermonters due to COVID-19, we know we are just beginning to see the challenges this disease will present to our communities. We don’t know the scale of illness it will unleash in the Upper Valley, nor the severity. Gauging by the health effects we have seen in Asia and Europe and the infection and mortality rates, we likely will have an acute public health care crisis on our hands. The protective measures we must take to “flatten the curve” of virus infections require that we set aside one of our superpowers: our eagerness to come together (literally) in a time of crisis to support one another. But that just increases our use of another superpower we have as Ver

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/20/20)

Town leaders, Let me open tonight with a question for you that I have gotten from two constituents in the last 24 hours: for people with a philanthropic bend, where can they be directed in our four towns? Please send in your ideas. The Thetford Food Shelf is an easy one in Thetford, but if you have other suggestions for organizations in our towns that will put cash immediately to work helping people in the COVID-19 crisis, please let me know. I will pass your ideas along and want to have them at the ready next time I'm asked. Things I learned today that might be helpful information to you: First, on a conference call of House leadership this morning we discussed the legislative path forw

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/19/20)

Town leaders, The COVID-19 crisis entered a sad and urgent new phase this evening with the first two Vermont deaths of the pandemic, a patient at the WRJ VA and a patient in Chittenden County. It felt like state government took a breath today and tried to digest the massive changes that have transpired in the last three days from closed restaurants to school and daycare closings. In this update, I am including links to several reports from state agencies that expand and clarify some of the changes we have seen in recent days: Update for Child Care Programs on COVID-19 Guidance & Supports VT Department of Health Daily Update (3-19-20) The Executive Summary of the State Emergency Operations C

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/18/20)

Town leaders, A wide variety of things to share with you this evening from a variety of state officials I was in touch with today. First, my 3/16/20 update included some information from the VT Dept. of Labor for employers and employees regarding unemployment insurance. That Department has been overwhelmed in recent days with calls from laid-off workers looking to sign up for UI benefits who haven't been able to get through by phone. The Dept. of Labor put up this online form today to allow workers to sign up for benefits. I have had calls from constituents asking about expediting this process and I have been sending them to this link. Please pass it on. Second, the Public Utilities Comm

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/17/20)

Town Leaders, First, the Governor just announced that all childcare centers in the State (about 1,200) are to be closed. Daycare may still be made available for parents employed in certain critical needs areas such as health care and first responders. Dept. of Children and Families will provide more detail....soon. Childcare facilities that provide services for these critically-employed parents are not to have more than 10 children in a room. The legislature will be working on funding to support closed childcare facilities during their closure in order to keep this infrastructure in place when the pandemic has receded. Second, on a call with the Director of Emergency Management today, sh

Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/16/20)

Town leaders, Tonight I am including three pieces of information. First, the Governor just announced he is ordering all restaurants and bars in Vermont to close tomorrow by 2pm until April 6th. Takeout service will still be allowed. Also, he announced that the DMV will be extending license and registration renewals for 90 days beyond their effective expiration date beginning March 13, 2020. If an individual’s permit, temporary license or permanent license and/or registration has expired since March 13, 2020 law enforcement officers should honor a 90 day waiver of those credential expiration dates. Drivers can still go online or use the postal service to renew a license or registration. Se

2020 Town Meeting

The following is the handout we distributed at Town Meeting in Thetford, Norwich, Sharon, and Strafford: It’s an honor to serve as your State Representatives in Montpelier where the Vermont legislature meets from early-January until late-May. We are grateful for your trust and are committed to earning it daily. We have heard from many of you in recent months and those conversations have helped us initiate policy directly affecting our four towns including: A bill to cap the rates diabetics would pay for insulin prescriptions; Legislation to support cybersecurity training for town employees; Prospective funding to support the remediation of TA’s water system; Change to Act 250 legislation ke


Best ways to reach Tim:



Cell: (802) 384-8256

Home: (802) 785-2414

Best ways to reach Jim:



Home: (802) 785-4146



Jim Masland and Tim Briglin were elected to represent the Windsor-Orange 2 district towns of Norwich, Sharon, Strafford, and Thetford in the Vermont House of Representatives.  Their current two-year term is for 2019-2020.


Jim Masland is serving his eleventh term in the Statehouse and is a member of the Ways & Means Committee.


Tim Briglin is serving his third term in the Statehouse and is the Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee.


You can find Jim and Tim's seats in the General Assembly by clicking here.  Their seat numbers are #82 and #93, respectively.


The Vermont State Legislature's website has a tremendous amount of information.  On the site, you will find information about all state representatives and state senators, bills and resolutions that have been introduced, hearing schedules and reports for House and Senate Committees, information about visiting the Statehouse, links to Vermont Statutes and Vermont's Constitution, and links to other branches of state government.