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Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Back In Session: Photos From The Legislature's Opening Day

A person walks toward the Vermont Statehouse past the snowy lawn.
Elodie Reed
/
VPR File
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 marked the start of another legislative session.

Around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, foot traffic started trickling up the sidewalks around the Vermont Statehouse for the 2020 session's opening day. Along the way, people hauled rolling file boxes, greeted each other with hugs and declared,"Back to school!"

Rep. Diana Gonzalez of Winooski caught up with Rep. Barbara Murphy of Fairfax, left, and Rep. Mary Hooper of Montpelier, right, and showed them photos of her baby girl.

Three people gather around one person holding out an iPhone.
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

Legislative page Julia Baldwin distributed mail (neatly!) on her first day of duties.

A legislative page looks through a mailbox slot.
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

Vermont's first-ever director of racial equity Xusana Davis was welcomed at a reception in Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman's office.

Xusana Davis, smiling, looks off camera
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

Standing under a portrait of George Washington that hangs in the House chamber, Lucy Cannon-Neel, left, Carol McGranaghan, center, and Carol Irons, right — who identify as Nulhegan, Nulhegan and independent, respectively — led the devotional exercise at the opening of the House.

According to Cannon-Neel, it was the first time Abenaki people performed the exercise. "We made history today," she said.

Three people stand below a portrait of George Washington.
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

Some state representatives, like Rep. Lynn Batchelor of Derby, personalized their House floor desks.

A desk in the House chamber with a rules and order pamphlet, and also a sticker that says Stop New Yorking My Vermont Gun RIghts
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

Others, like Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee Chair Chris Bray, spiffed up their committee rooms.

A sign saying Be Optimistic on a desk full of papers.
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

(Don't forget this Senate Agriculture Committee room decor, for which this digital producer never found an explanation.)

A framed photo of a goat on a tabletop
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe held a media availability in his office, with the work of Burlington artist Frank DeAngelis as his backdrop.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe sits below two paintings hanging on a wall
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson had some housekeeping to do — mainly, cleaning out the podium. "You never know what you're going to find in here," she said.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson stands at a podium in the Vermont House chamber.
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

Some committees opened by asking each member how their summer went ...

A group of people around a table behind a door that says Agriculture and Forestry
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

... and others, with food ...

An aerial view of a table with a bowl of clementines and person seated nearby
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

... but all with plenty of bills.

As assortment of House bills tacked up
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR

More from VPR's Vermont EditionVoices From The Statehouse: Live From The Cedar Creek Room [Jan. 7]

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