first_imgSpeaker Shap Smith today announced the appointment of Representative Michael Fisher as the chair of the House Committee on Health Care.  Fisher, the current vice chair of the committee, replaces former Representative Mark Larson who resigned from the legislature in August to become the Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. Representative Sarah Copeland-Hanzas will become the committee’s vice chair. ‘Mike has been a leader in the House for over a decade.  His expertise in the field of health and human services is vast, and his enthusiasm to tackle the barriers to the access of quality affordable health care for Vermonters is unparalleled,’ said Speaker Smith.  ‘The legislature made great strides last year and Mike’s leadership was crucial to those efforts.  His leadership will be needed as we continue to move forward with health care reform.’ Rep. Fisher has been a member of the legislature since 2001, representing the towns of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton and Starksboro. He served as the vice chair of the House Committee on Human Services from 2007-2010 and as vice chair of the House Committee on Health Care during the 2011 session.  Rep. Fisher works as a social worker in Addison County, having earned a masters degree in social work from the University of Vermont. ‘I am excited to continue to advance our state’s health care reform efforts,’ said Rep. Fisher.  ‘Reducing health care costs and improving access to quality care is vital to the health and economic wellbeing of the state, and I am confident in the ability of the committee to dig into that work.’ Rep. Copeland-Hanzas has represented the towns of Bradford, Fairlee, and West Fairlee since 2005.  She has been a member of the House Committee on Health Care for the past five years, and has served as Deputy Assistant Majority Leader since 2009.  Rep. Copeland-Hanzas is a small business owner, operating The Local Buzz Cafe in Bradford. ‘The House Health Care Committee has led the way in health care reform over the past two years,’ said Speaker Smith. ‘I am confident that Mike and Sarah will be a strong leadership team and look forward to seeing the progress of the committee.’last_img read more

first_img Submit Related Articles UK gambling adopts toughest online advertising code to protect underage audiences August 27, 2020 ASA monitoring sweep marks gambling as the worst underage advertising offender August 26, 2020 Share Michael Dugher, the new Chief Executive of Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), has stated that the ‘single industry’ representative body is determined to work with the government in its imminent review of the 2005 Gambling Act.Writing an open letter in Parliamentary news source ‘’’, Dugher underlines that collaboration between the industry and Westminster can deliver the most effective and far-reaching package of reforms for UK gambling.Closing 2019, governance of the newly formed BGC surprised industry observers by confirming the appointment of Dugher – the former Labour Shadow Secretary for DCMS as the standard body’s first Chief Executive.Dugher, who departed the comforts of leading the ‘UK Music’ trade group to head up the BGC, acknowledges the surprise at his appointment, in which his friends questioned why he would ‘drop the Brit Awards to represent the gambling sector?‘.“One cabinet minister texted me to say they thought I was “ very brave”. Sadly, I could tell they meant it in the same way Sir Humphrey, in ‘Yes Minister’, famously described a potentially stupid or reckless decision,” Dugher recalls.However, the former Labour MP for Barnsley East states that his decision was undertaken on the ‘clear understanding that that industry was committed to making big changes’.Supporting the BGC’s appeal for collaboration, Dugher points to industry directives undertaken during a transformative 2019 which saw incumbents introduce a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on advertising, increased funding of gambling harm education and treatment and further enforced customer ID and age-verification requirements.For 2020, Dugher stresses that the betting industry has accepted its upcoming credit card ban from April and that UK betting immediately withdrew its exclusive streaming rights of FA Cup games following political and media backlash.Dugher added: “Whereas the NHS has always had to pick up the bill for Britain’s alcohol problems, for more than 20 years the betting and gaming industry has been the sole funders of treatment in the UK.  Importantly, the largest BGC members are committing an additional £100 million to research, education and treatment (RET) over the next four years.“I’m also pleased to see that new age-verification and ID checks have resulted in literally hundreds of thousands of accounts being closed recently, where the customer was unable or unwilling to meet the new strict criteria.”In his letter, Dugher states that the betting industry is prepared to do much more, but requires government collaboration on distinct factors which will help develop robust regulatory frameworks supported by a ‘consistent evidence-led approach’.Leading the BGC, Dugher underlines that tackling problem gambling will require honest dialogue between stakeholders with regards to understanding its complex social dynamics in which regulation is inconsistent as it standsHe continued: “At the moment, you can gamble at 16 or use your credit card to bet on the National Lottery in a high street shop like WH Smith’s or your local Tesco… Yet BGC members have a zero-tolerance approach that stops under-18s gambling and you have never been able to bet with your credit card in a licensed retail betting shop.”The BGC makes it pleas for collaboration following criticism of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) by members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gambling Related Harm, for allowing UK gambling leadership to establish the terms on a ‘Code of Conduct on high-value customers’ (VIP programmes).Amid criticism, Dugher notes the UKGC’s complex regulatory role overseeing a sector in which ‘46% of the UK population bets at least once a month’, and in which distinct social and economic factors have to be analysed.“I am determined to drive big changes across the industry and to help the Government deliver the most far-reaching package of reforms as part of their review of the Gambling Act,” Dugher states concluding his letter.“Going to the BGC might not be quite as much fun as going to the BRIT Awards, and I might be swapping the Glastonbury Festival for the Cheltenham Festival this year, but I think we can make a real difference for people’s lives and I’m looking forward to help lead important changes right across the industry.” UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Share StumbleUponlast_img read more