In the News

VT Democrats find new energy for gun issues

Sen. Michael Sirotkin, D-Chittenden, speaks in favor of universal background checks for gun sales, flanked by three leading Democratic candidates for governor and all Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor in Montpelier on Thursday

“MONTPELIER – Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger called it a “new day in Montpelier.” The top Democrat in the state Senate called it a “sea change.”

Whatever it was, Thursday’s rally in Montpelier for universal background checks on gun sales sent a clear message.

Democrats in gun-friendly Vermont have shed any timidity about gun control issues.”

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Burlington Free Press


July 21, 2016

The Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont announced on Wednesday endorsed Senate incumbents Tim Ashe, Michael Sirotkin, Phillip Baruth and Ginny Lyons, and newcomer Rep. Chris Pearson in the Chittenden County Democratic primary.

The association says the five candidates have backed legislation that has boosted household incomes and public safety.

The Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont is part of the International Association of Firefighters. The union represents paid fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics in 12 departments across the state.

See full story at VT Digger

Senator Tim Ashe on S.243

D/P-Chittenden County

It seems nearly every day brings news of an overdose occurring somewhere in Chittenden County that relates directly to opiate addiction. Opiate addiction cuts across all income groups, ethnicities and professions, and has become the most pressing public health issue facing Vermont.

Last fall I reached out to constituents asking for ideas and direction for legislation in 2016. The overwhelming priority throughout the county was battling the opiate epidemic.

In response, Michael Sirotkin and I introduced S.243, a bill that included a number of strategies to fight this problem. The strategies included more and better use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring system, an increase in the number of addicted patients allowed to be under the supervision of a physician, the development of a prescription drug takeback program, and opiate prescribing education of medical professions. This bill, which passed both the House and Senate, will soon be signed into law by the governor. It was the legislature’s best attempt to update our efforts to better manage those who become addicted and to reduce the number of people who become addicted in the first place.

I would like to thank all of you who contacted me on this critical issue throughout the process, and there were many of you. I think S.243 is a great example of the progress we can make when the legislature and the knowledgeable, thoughtful people we represent come together to solve problems.

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Sally Fox Conference Center dedicated at Waterbury State Office Complex

February 11, 2016 Sen. Michael Sirotkin unveils Katharine Montstream’s “Panoramic Sky over Shelburne Bay,” a painting at the dedication of the Sally Fox Conference Center at the new State Office Complex in Waterbury on Jan 29. Courtesy photo

“Sally Fox represented Chittenden County both as a fierce and dedicated member of the Vermont legislature and a passionate lobbyist in Montpelier for more than thirty years. She was beloved and admired by all who witnessed her relentless drive to help and protect those who struggled to make their voices heard.

In January 2014, she passed away from cancer, and on Friday, January 29, her memory was honored with the dedication of the Sally Fox Conference Center at the new State Office Complex in Waterbury. The center will house the Agency of Human Services—fitting, many noted, as the place where her work to assist the poor and disadvantaged will continue for years to come.

Fox’s husband, current Chittenden County Senator Michael Sirotkin, joined 400 others at the dedication, which featured moving speeches, fond memories of Fox, and the dedication of a painting by her favorite artist, Katharine Monstream. The conference center is in a new building at the state offices in Waterbury, which stands next to older facilities that were recently renovated after being severely damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011.”

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Paintings Pay Tribute to Sally Fox


State Sen. Michael Sirotkin, D-Chittenden, third from left, poses on Jan. 29 with his sons Jacob, left, and Jesse, right, along with Burlington artist Katharine Montstream at the new State Office Complex in Waterbury. A panel of paintings by Montstream were unveiled in honor of Sirotkin’s late wife, Sen. Sally Fox. The paintings adorn the walls of the Senator Sally Fox Conference Center. (Photo: Courtesy of Chris Gluck)

“State Sen. Michael Sirotkin, D-Chittenden, and his sons Jacob and Jesse were among the hundreds of people that turned out to view and speak about the artworks installed at the new State Office Complex in Waterbury on Jan. 29.”

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7/23/14-Granite State of Mind-Seven Days-Fair Game by Paul Heintz

“It’s been decades since an incumbent in Vermont’s largest state senate district has lost a race for reelection. But that never keeps Chittenden County’s political hopefuls from trying.

This fall, eight challengers are lining up against six incumbents: Sens. Tim Ashe(D/P), Phil Baruth (D), Ginny Lyons (D), Michael Sirotkin (D), Diane Snelling (R) and David Zuckerman (P/D).

In a district that includes one-fifth of the state’s population and allows voters to select as many as six candidates, name recognition really matters. That’s why Sirotkin, whom Shumlin appointed to the Senate in January, has as much in common with the challengers as with his fellow incumbents.

“I’m clearly a hybrid,” the former lobbyist says. “I have a very strong name recognition among those people who are connected to the legislature or government and in communities like Essex or South Burlington, where I’ve served on local boards. But there’s a large percentage of the population who do not know my name.”

During his three months in the Senate, Sirotkin kept a low profile, offering up occasional amendments on the floor, but mostly trying to hew to the priorities of his late wife, Sen. Sally Fox, who he replaced in the Senate after she died in January.

“I felt a certain obligation to fulfill Sally’s issues, as the people of Chittenden County had elected Sally,” he says. “I’m definitely running as my own person now, but it is quite remarkable how Sally’s and my own politics are very, very similar.”

5/29/14 –  “Michael Sirotkin, the long time legislative advocate for the COVE, the Community of Vermont Elders,…has fought tirelessly for home care programs, fuel assistance, prescription assistance, transportation – you name it – is now Chiitenden County’s  state Senator filling out the term of his late wife, Sally Fox”  John Barbour, former Executive Director of Champlain Valley Agency on Aging at its 40th birthday event.

5/9/14 –  “Michael Sirotkin is our 2014 Marthe Woodman Consumer Advocate Award winner because no person has played a bigger role in keeping the courthouse doors open for Vermonters who suffer losses through no fault of their own.”  Chris Maley, President of the Vermont Association for Justice  at VTAJ’s  2014 Annual Convention, May 9, 2014.

4/17/14 – “Yes” to a New Minimum Wage by Senator Michael Sirotkin – The Other Paper p. 6. (MS Word Version: min wage opinion piece)

2/12/14 – Sirotkin Assumes Senate Seat of Late Wife – Rutland Herald

2/11/14 –  “Here we have someone that can carry on her [Sally’s] tradition.  I think that is very important.”  Senator Ginny Lyons (Chittenden County) – NECN.

1/27/14 – Michael Sirotkin Appointed to Vermont Senate – Vermont Public Radio

1/27/14 – “[R]ecognizing Sirotkin’s strong qualifications …. I’m confident that Michael will continue the great work Sally did for the district and the state.” Governor Peter Shumlin;

1/27/14 – Shumlin Appoints Sirotkin to Senate Seat – Burlington Free Press

1/27/14 – “He has been an advocate, as Sally had been, for those in need and those vulnerable citizens, especially the elderly in the state,”  Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell –

1/23/14 – “Michael and I have been loyal adversaries for a great many years. We’ve rarely been on the same side of an issue in the last 20 years, but I have nothing but respect for him. He’s represented his clients with integrity, and he’d do the same for the constituents of Chittenden County.” Mayor of Montpelier, John Hollar, Seven Days.

1/22/14 – “We’re all obviously going to miss Sally Fox tremendously, the governor said.  What I have said is I will let the process work. I’m thrilled that Michael Sirotkin is interested in the job. ” – Governor Shumlin, Seven Days.

1/22/14 – Sirotkin Welcomes Opportunity to Take His Wife’s Seat in the Vermont Senate – VT Digger

1/22/14 – “I believe that if the governor were to nominate Michael to this position, that in an incredibly short time everyone would know exactly what a great choice that was,” Jerman said. “He will fit in. He’s been doing the work for years.”  Rep. Tim Jerman (Chittenden 8-2) – Seven Days.



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