Statehouse

Governor Scott Vetoes 16 and 17-Year Old Voting

Gov. Phil Scott yesterday vetoed H361, the Brattleboro charter change to allow municipal and school voting and office-holding for 16 and 17 year olds. Gov. Phil Scott In an explanatory letter to the House (below), he cited Vermont’s legal inconsistency on the question of legal adulthood, and the need to resolve the question on a statewide Read More…

Education Statehouse

Passing Grade for Mascot Nondiscrimination Bill

A bill requiring the Vermont Agency of Education to stamp out racist, sexist, and repressive school mascots was approved 5-1 last week by the Senate Education Committee. Sponsored by Sen. Richard McCormack (D-Windsor), S139 will be up for review by the entire Senate on March 8, when the Senate returns from Town Meeting Week break.  The bill requires Read More…

Sports & Outdoors Statehouse

Do You Know a Hunter or a Trapper?

An anti-hunting bill has been fast-tracked for passage in the Vermont Legislature tomorrow morning, before citizens have been fully heard; also by-passing the professional opinions of our state’s wildlife professionals. As explained by Vermont Traditions Coalition Executive Director Mike Covey, this bill “…bans the use of hounds and the training of hounds to pursue coyotes. Read More…

Business & Economics Property Rights Statehouse

House Approves Burlington Eviction Restrictions

H708, a Burlington charter change, passed in the State House of Representatives on February 18, 2022, by a vote of 98-49. The bill now proceeds to the Senate. Purpose: The purpose of H.708 is to restrict the circumstances in which Burlington landlords can evict tenants. Burlington voters passed an eviction ballot item in March 2021 with similar Read More…

Be Informed Statehouse

Race, Drug Bills Get Committee Review This Week

It’s the time of year when bills are being pushed through the committee approval pipeline ahead of the mid-March “crossover” deadline. Legislation getting committee time this week stands a fair chance of committee approval. Bills on House Committee agendas this week: In House General, Housing & Military Affairs: H96, creating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Development Task Force to Read More…

Business & Economics Property Rights Statehouse

Housing Registry Veto Votes Postponed

Bills creating housing-related state registries are up against vetos by Gov. Phil Scott. Legislative voters may not have the votes they need to override.  Senate Rental Registry – Last year, Gov. Scott vetoed S79, “an act relating to improving rental housing health and safety.” As the name suggests, the Senate claims the S79 would let the State Read More…

Business & Economics Energy Statehouse

Oops. Major Component Of Climate Plan Violates Us Constitution.

The unelected Climate Council put forward its Climate Action Plan (CAP) in December 2021 with two major components: 1) The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), which was basically a cap-and-trade-style carbon tax on motor fuels, and 2) a Clean Heat Standard (CHS), which is basically a cap-and-trade-style carbon tax on fossil based home heating fuels (oil, propane, natural Read More…

Crime and Safety Statehouse

‘Criminal Threatening’ Bill Advances to Full Senate

The Vermont Senate today is scheduled to consider S265, the ‘criminal threatening’ bill that would impose prison sentences of up to two years for threatening public officials and others.  The bill was approved by Senate Judiciary this week by a 4-1 vote. Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) was the dissenting vote.  During committee discussions, Chair Dick Sears said Read More…

Statehouse

Two Branches of Government Try to Exempt Themselves From Code of Ethics

Over the past several years, Campaign for Vermont has worked with the legislature and the Ethics Commission to develop a Code of Ethics that would apply to all three branches of Government. As such, S.171 is currently being discussed in Senate Government Operations and is the product of several years of research and debate. But, lately the bill has Read More…

Statehouse

Federal COVID Economic Relief Money to Fund Broadband Expansion in Vermont

Vermont lawmakers plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on broadband internet access expansion, much of it federal Covid relief money. This is part of a decades-long struggle to bring internet access to rural Vermonters.  While the vast majority of Vermonters have broadband internet access, some living in rural areas still do not. This Read More…

Statehouse Tax Land

Roll Call! Senate Approves 5% Increase in State Budget (24-6), 2022

H.679- AN ACT RELATING TO FISCAL YEAR 2022 BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS – KITCHEL AMENDMENT PASSED in the State Senate on February 3, 2022 by a vote of 24-6 Purpose: The underlying bill aligns planned spending from the previous fiscal year with actual spending. This would increase Vermont’s annual budget to $367 million. This is a 5% Read More…

Sports & Outdoors Statehouse

Potential 30 Day NICS Waiting Period

This morning, Thursday, February 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed gun control bill S.30 on a vote of 4-1-0 with Senator Joe Benning (R) Caledonia being the lone “No” vote. The hearing may be viewed at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ylbc0VszcI The debate in Senate Judiciary centered around the two sections added in the House.  Section 2 of S.30 creates a potential Read More…

Be Informed Statehouse

Single Member Legislative Districts For Vermont?

This year, the tri-partisan Legislative Apportionment Board (LAB) recommended that the Vermont legislature re-draw house and senate district boundaries (we do this every ten years following the census) so that there would be 150 single member house districts and 30 single member senate districts. This would be a change from Vermont’s current mishmash of one- Read More…

Statehouse Tax Land

New bill: multi-lingual state government

A “language access” bill introduced into the Vermont House today would require state agencies serving “a substantial number” of non-English speakers to offer translated materials and bi-lingual staff. H692 would require state agencies to “implement language access services, including the use of translated materials, bilingual staff, or contracted interpretation services, when the agency serves a substantial Read More…

Be Informed Statehouse Tax Land

VT Senators Ponder SALES TAX ON SERVICES

Six months ago, the Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission recommended expanding Vermont’s “sales tax base to all consumer-level purchases of goods and services except healthcare and casual consumer-to-consumer transactions” while reduce the sales tax rate to 3.6%.* Given the chance to consider the proposal, one senator appeared especially eager to consider the proposal. The idea Read More…

Statehouse Tax Land VT Daily Chronicle

Bill increases per diem pay from $50 to $125

The number of Vermonters serving on state boards and commissions is growing. And so will their pay, if a new House bill becomes law.  H545, introduced Jan. 11 into the Vermont House, would increase the per diem pay for members of Vermont’s boards and commissions from $50 to $125. Most members of these appointed boards and commissions Read More…