The Leahy Letter - July 31, 2009

Senator Patrick Leahy's Update from the Nation's Capital

USDA Boost In Dairy Pricing
Caps Leahy-Led Push To Help Farmers

Two days after a coalition of two dozen senators strongly urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to raise the floor price for dairy products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it will do that for three months, beginning immediately. Today's announcement follows a strategy meeting between the coalition, led by Senator Leahy and including Senator Sanders, and Secretary Vilsack, where the senators urged him to take the action to help farmers who are hit hard by falling milk prices. This short-term boost in the price the federal goverment pays for milk and dairy products will help stabilize milk prices and provide support for struggling dairy farms in Vermont and around the country.

Click here to read more about Senator Leahy's efforts to help dairy farmers or to watch a video of Senator Leahy's press conference today, following the USDA's announcement.


Save The Date
13th Annual Women's Economic
Opportunity Conference

It is time to mark your Fall calendar for the upcoming 13th Annual Women's Economic Opportunity Conference. Please join us and our keynote speaker, Lilly Ledbetter, in Randolph on Saturday, October 17, 2009. Lilly Ledbetter is the inspiration for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, enacted this January, which will help ensure equal pay for women and minorities in the workforce.

This past year has been trying for Vermonters. Many families and many Vermont women have had to be flexible in adapting to the new economic climate, including changing careers, whether by choice or by outside forces. This year's Conference provides workshops to help women address the new and sometimes adverse situations that their families are facing. From resume-writing and public speaking workshops, to new business ventures and business marketing workshops, the Conference will focus on adaptability and helping women view themselves in many different career capacities.

I will be sending out the program invitations in September, but in the meantime, mark your calendars for Saturday, October 17, 2009, when the Conference will be held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center.

Marcelle and I look forward to seeing you at the 13th Annual Women's Economic Opportunity Conference.

United States Senator

Sotomayor Nomination Reported To Full Senate

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, sending the nomination to the Senate floor by a bipartisan vote of 13-6. As chairman of the Committee, Senator Leahy presided over four days of hearings during the week of July 13. Judge Sotomayor's nomination will be considered by the full Senate next week, when senators will debate the nomination and then vote, most likely by the end of the week.

To read more about Judge Sotomayor's nomination, and to watch videos of the vote on Tuesday and a press conference on Wednesday, click here.


25 Vermont Communities Net Total Of $5 Million
For New Police Hires Under Economic Recovery Plan

On Tuesday, Senator Leahy announced that Vermont will receive $5,045,045 in economic recovery grants to hire and rehire law enforcement officers. The funding will go to 25 law enforcement agencies across Vermont and will cover the salary and benefits for newly hired entry-level officer positions over the next three years. This funding comes amid extreme budget pressures from the economic downturn and will help Vermont communities maintain police staffing levels to fight crime through community policing.

For the list of Vermont towns receiving policing grants, click here. You can also read about how the economic recovery package is helping Vermont by clicking here.


Leahy Panel Hears Testimony From Jay Peak
President About Foreign Investor Program

Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak Resort, testifying

On July 22, Senator Leahy chaired a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a key foreign investor program administered by U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). Bill Stenger, pictured above, president of Jay Peak Resort, testified at the hearing on the benefits of the program in generating development projects and jobs for Vermonters. Senator Leahy has championed the program and its use in Vermont and is leading an effort to extend it. To read more about this hearing, click here.

Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693