Welch Legislation Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs Signed into Law

Peter’s bipartisan legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs was signed into law last month. His bill eliminates contractual “gag rules” imposed on pharmacists that prevent them from informing customers of lower cost options on prescription drugs. “In a time of skyrocketing prescription drug prices, it defies common sense that some pharmacists are prohibited from helping customers save money on their medications,” Peter said. “This new law empowers pharmacists to steer customers to the lowest cost option when filling a prescription.”

Four Welch Bills Combating the Opioid Epidemic Signed into Law

Four bipartisan bills co-authored by Peter to combat the opioid epidemic were signed into law last month. The new laws increase funding for the Medicaid Health Homes program, attack the root causes of overprescribing in the Medicaid and Medicare programs, educate seniors on alternatives to opioids, and fund National Institutes of Health (NIH) research into non-addictive drugs for pain management. While supporting a package of opioids bills signed into law, Peter decried the lack of a more comprehensive approach. “What we need, in addition to these good bills, is a full-scale opioids Marshall Plan that provides significant resources to those working on the front lines of this public health epidemic.”

Helping Disabled Seniors 

At Gardener's Supply in Burlington, Peter unveiled legislation that will eliminate two barriers to older disabled Vermonters who wish to remain in the workforce after turning 65. “It simply doesn’t make sense to penalize disabled seniors who want to remain in the workforce beyond traditional retirement age,” Welch insisted. “This legislation eliminates two arbitrary barriers that discourage disabled seniors from working. And it ensures employers have dedicated workers ready, willing and able to get the job done.”

At Gardener’s Supply in Burlington, Peter unveils his legislation to eliminate barriers to employment for disabled seniors.

Rebuilding Our Infrastructure 

Joined by Senator Sanders, Peter announced that Congress passed legislation that opens the door for Vermont to receive federal funds to repair three aging flood control dams. The America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 includes an amendment authored by Peter and Senator Sanders that authorizes safety improvements at certain state-owned flood control dams constructed by the federal government before 1940. In Vermont, three dams – the Waterbury, East Barre and Wrightsville dams – are eligible to receive funding under this provision. “In 2011, Waterbury suffered a devastating flood during Tropical Storm Irene,” Peter said. “More catastrophic damage was prevented due to the existence of the aging Waterbury Dam. This important legislation will increase funding to refurbish outdated and hazardous flood control dams in Vermont and across the country.”

Halt Military Aid and Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia 

Following the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Peter joined several House colleagues in introducing legislation to halt military aid and the future sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. “For too long the United States has blindly supported a Saudi Government engaged in a horrific campaign against the people of Yemen,” said Peter. “And now we learn that the Saudis were, at a minimum, complicit in the murder of a journalist who was critical of the Saudi regime. It is long past time to stop military assistance and the sale of arms to this brutal dictatorship.”

Home in Vermont

Over the past month, Peter has traveled the state to meet with and listen to Vermonters. Check out some highlights below.

Peter spoke with employees of Columbia Forest Products in Newport about his successful effort to impose tariffs on dumped and subsidized imports of Chinese hardwood plywood. 

Peter addressed Senator Brian Campion’s Activating Democracy class at Bennington College.

Peter learned from the experts at Farmhouse Pottery in Woodstock

Peter joined in a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the expansion of Smuggler’s Notch Distillery in Jeffersonville.