Paul N. Poirier was born in Lewiston, Maine in 1948 and was educated in the local school system. Upon graduation from Saint Dominic’s High School in 1966, Paul attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. At Norwich, Paul was a stand out ice hockey player and won numerous awards while leading Norwich to post season victories. Paul graduating in 1970 earning a Bachelor of Science degree. Following graduation, Paul accepted a teaching position at Spaulding High School in Barre where he became the head coach of the boy’s ice hockey team. While at Spaulding, Paul continued his education at Norwich and received a Master’s degree in History and Government in 1973.
In 1997, Paul returned to the Legislature and served as Chairman of the House Committee on Health and Human Services. During this legislative tenure, Paul focused on increasing access to health care and developing a new federal welfare system for Vermont that required work as a component for benefits. In 2000, Paul left the legislature to accept a position as patient advocate for Vermont Protection and Advocacy Group. In 2008, Paul returned to the Legislature for a third time and now serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Health Care.
Paul has been a fifteen year member of the Barre City Council since first being elected in 1990. Paul’s work as a City Councilor and a State Representative allows him to to see the big picture in terms of what is best for local and state public policy as they affect Barre residents. As an Independent, Paul has been able to work with all three major political parties in the state house, including the successful pursuit of the Department of Education re-location to the City Place building in downtown Barre. Paul is currently working to ensure the successful re-development of the former Lash building in downtown Barre.
Public Service Highlights:
- Member of the Vermont House of Representatives: 1981-1982, 1983-1984 (Assistant Minority Leader, Member of the House and Joint Rules Committees), 1985-1986 (Majority Leader, Vice-Chair House Rules Committee, Member of Joint Rules Committee), 1987-1988 (Majority Leader, Vice-Chair House Rules Committee, Member ofJoint Rules Committee, Chair of Select House Committee on Economic Growth), 1997-1998 (Chair House Health and Welfare Committee, Member of Health Oversight Committee, Chair of House Select Committee on Health Care Reform), 1999-2000 (Chair of House Health and Welfare Committee, Member of Health Oversight Committee, Member on Eastern States Pharmaceutical Reform Committee), 2009-2010 (Member of the House Committee on Health Care), 2011-2012 (Ranking Member of House Committee on Health Care)
- Member of the Barre City Council: 1990-1999, 2008-present
- District 5 Environmental Commission: 1991-1997
- Aldrich Public Library Trustees: 2008-present
- Past Executive Director of the Turning Point Center of Central Vermont
- Past President of the Green Mountain United Way