Becca Balint of Brattleboro was elected President Pro Tempore of the Vermont Senate on Wednesday, January 6th 2021. She is the first woman and first openly gay person to hold the position. She serves Windham County.
Becca was born in a US Army hospital in Heidelberg, Germany where her dad was stationed. She was raised predominantly in upstate New York and attended public schools in Peekskill. She received her BA from Smith College in Northampton, MA and earned her masters in education from Harvard University in 1995 and her MA in history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2001. Her career in education has been spent teaching in public and private schools in New England, as well as at the Community College of Vermont. She first moved to Vermont in 1994 to lead rock climbing trips at the Farm and Wilderness Foundation in Plymouth and relocated permanently to Vermont in 1997.
Becca was elected to the Vermont Senate in 2014, and during her first term she served on the Institutions Committee and the Economic Development and Housing Committee, as well as the Judicial Rules Committee. During her 2nd term she was made vice chair of the Education Committee, and continued to serve on the Economic Development Committee. In 2016, she was elected to the position of Senate Majority Leader and was also appointed Chair of the Senate Sexual Harassment Prevention Panel. In her 3rd term she was re-elected to the position of Senate Majority Leader.
Becca’s successes as Majority Leader include shoring up the votes to pass the largest Vermont housing bond in decades, which secured much-needed housing for hundreds and hundreds of Vermonters, and passing a minimum wage increase for thousands of low-wage workers. Becca also led the caucus through a successful fight for the most progressive reproductive freedom legislation in the nation, and she worked hard to pass the boldest climate justice bill to date in our state. Over the years, she’s also fought for protections for consumers, for renters, and for women in the workforce, and she’s been a strong advocate for additional workforce training programs that will assist Vermonters and small businesses.
Becca is a fierce advocate for justice and equity, and her values were shaped by her family’s experiences. She’s the daughter of an immigrant dad and a working class mom, and her parents never took for granted the rights and privileges provided by the United States Constitution. Her paternal grandfather was killed in the Holocaust, and her father’s family saw firsthand the cruelties people can perpetrate when the law does not protect those in marginalized communities, or when government officials approve the targeting of those who are seen as different.
When she's not running around the statehouse, she's running in Hubbard Park. Becca lives in Brattleboro with her wife, attorney Elizabeth R. Wohl and their two children.