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A select panel of Vermont citizens has appointed three radical Vermonters to serve on the state’s new Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Last year, the state legislature voted to approve the creation of the commission, which is intended to address “instances of discrimination and harm caused by State laws and/or policies to specific marginalized communities in Vermont,” especially those who were affected by a 1931 state law that legalized forced sterilization. In 2021, the state issued a formal apology for that law, which disproportionately affected “Indigenous people, French Canadians, mixed-race people, people with disabilities and low-income families,” according to the VT Digger.
Republican Governor Phil Scott signed the bill into law last May, and many cheered that the TRC would go beyond apology for past wrongs toward proactive reparation. However, Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) warned that “this is a commission that could very well get out of control in a hurry, based on politics.”
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