For thousands of years, abortion has been legal in Judaism in certain circumstances, particularly if the woman’s life is in danger. The Jewish view is that a child is not a child until it is safely birthed into this world. This is why, as a people, we do not hold baby showers in advance of the child’s birth, nor do we say “mazel tov” or “congratulations” until the baby is born.

I think the Vermont motto “Freedom and Unity” is very powerful. Each one must be in the proper amount, or we get out of balance. Push too hard on freedom and unity begins to unravel. On the other hand, if you strongly advocate for unity, freedom can be diminished.

As I write this at the start of the week, it’s looking like the House of Representatives’ session may adjourn by the end of this week. You never know, but it’s looking possible.

It was a house of love and a haven where laughter was frequent, anxiety had no place, affection reigned. It was a Cape Cod bungalow with a white picket fence that made me feel warm and happy.

This is the time of year when candidates for next November circulate petitions to get their names on the ballot. When I ran to serve in the Statehouse years ago, I said that I would not serve for more than 10 years.

This legislative session will end when the budget passes, and the governor signs it into law. Any bills that did not make it to the governor’s desk are dead because we will have reached the end of the biennium.

On April 15, after weeks of discussion and just hours before they voted 4-1 to advance legislation that would saddle Vermonters with a radical, economy transforming clean heat standard for home heating fuels, senators on the natural resources and energy committee asked a remarkable question: “What do you get to do with a (clean heat) credit when you buy them?” They did not know. They could not really explain.

This past week the Senate passed its version of the 2023 state budget and on Friday the Senate appointed members to the conference committee. The six-member committee — three representatives and three senators — works out the differences between the House and Senate budgets.

While we don’t know yet exactly when the House will adjourn, it will be soon. As happens every year, the Senate made changes to the appropriations bill passed earlier in the House, and a conference committee will now work out the differences so that the bill can see final passage.

I vividly recall learning to drive a car as a youngster. My father grimaced while the stick shift made a horrid noise and I kept popping the clutch. We had a herky-jerky ride. He had so much patience, and finally I got the hang of things.

I love words. They’re so practical. And free. We collect them throughout our lives, like artifacts of our experience, almost unaware of their power and potential.

Contact your local House Representatives and Senators.

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