Hinda Miller to step down after 2012

Hinda Miller, a five-term Democratic senator from Chittenden County, said today this term will be her last.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, Miller has been embroiled over the past year in the heated debate over single-payer health care. She’s been a go-to lawmaker for Vermont employers seeking to add business-friendly amendments to various pieces of health care legislation. It’s won her some notoriety among fellow Democrats, but Miller has made no apologies for voicing opinions sometimes used as talking points by anti-single-payer groups.  

Most recently, she teamed up with Republican Sen. Vince Illuzzi, as well as the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, to fight administration proposals that would require small businesses to purchase their health insurance from the health benefits exchange.

Miller today said she’s a proponent of “transformative” change in the health care system, but that she isn’t wedded to any single reform mechanism.

Asked why she’s leaving now, Miller, founder of Jogbra, said her life tends to play out in 10-year cycles.

“I spent 20 years doing Jogbra, 10 years here in the Senate, and now I have another 10 years of creation somewhere else,” she said. “I’ve learned all the lessons I have to learn here.”

She plans to pen a book detailing her experiences as an entrepreneur, yogi and mother.

“I have some observations about life that I’m ready to share now,” she said.

She said she has a legislative successor in mind, but wouldn’t name the person she’d like to see fill her shoes after the November elections.