Statehouse Statehouse Headliners

Statehouse Headliners 5/29

Bills approved by 2019 Legislature listed below;
House/Senate Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee created;
Abortion bill wins ‘prize’ for most roll calls – 16

by Guy Page
May 29, 2019 – When the House adjourned Friday, the Vermont Legislature had passed 86 bills – see list below. Some have already been enacted into law. The rest wait for Gov. Phil Scott to sign, allow to pass into law unsigned, or veto. 

Spokespersons for House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and the House Clerk’s Office both confirmed today the House will not return this year. However the Senate will meet this afternoon at 4 pm. If it approves bills sent to them by the House before it adjourned, there will be even more legislation for Gov. Scott to consider. But that is a Headliners column for another day. This afternoon, we list every bill (not including resolutions) passed by the Legislature this year. Most category and subject headings are of Headliners’ own creation, because the “official” names for many of the bills were not sufficiently descriptive.


  • If an annual award was given out for the most roll calls, H57, unrestricted abortion, would be the winner going away, with 16. No other bill reached  double figures. “Over a dozen amendments offered to H.57 on the floor of the House were overwhelmingly rejected – including those that would have protected a viable unborn child from harm,” said Sharon Toborg, Policy Analyst for Vermont Right to Life, in a statement released today. “Even some pro-choice House members were shocked that supporters of H.57 would not protect any unborn child at any stage of pregnancy, and rejected proposed amendments to involve the parents of a minor.”
  • Receiving far less public attention was removal of protections for children in the womb from little-noticed H525, the miscellaneous agriculture bill.  H525 covers many farm-related topics, including elimination of the current required, written warning that unpasteurized milk sold at farmstands can cause “miscarriage, fetal death, or death of a newborn.” Written warning about potential bacterial harm to children, elders, and pregnant women is still required.
  • Crime-related legislation will, unless vetoed, make Vermont tougher on sex abusers and killers of firefighters/EMTs, and easier on many drug and property criminals. 
  • Smoking and buying tobacco-related products will be more regulated and, for people under 21 illegal. 
  • The public will be educated about bias-free policing, including not cooperating with ICE interest in illegal immigrants. A 20-person working group will investigate racial, ethnic, social, and identity bias in local Vermont schools. 
  • A House/Senate Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee will be created to provide oversight when the Legislature is not in session. 
  • The sale of refrigerants approved a decade or so ago to save the ozone layer will be banned (over a five year period) because they emit greenhouse gases. 
  • Work will begin on cleaning up polluted state waters, and on removing lead from school drinking water. 
  • Plastic bags and straws in stores and restaurants will be banned
  • Handgun sales will have a 24-hour waiting period. 

A half-cent increase in the Universal Service fee on cellphone and cable TV bills will pay for expanding broadband to under or unserved Vermont communities.

To peruse this list or to see bills passed only by the House or Senate, click here

Bills Passed by 2019 Legislature (not including last-minute approvals by Senate today)

Category Bill # Subject(s) Act #
Abortion H.57  unrestricted right to abortion  
Agriculture H.525  miscellaneous farm subjects, including GMO seeds, unpasteurized milk  
Agriculture S.160  agricultural development  
Agriculture H.79  eligibility for farm-to-school grant assistance  
Agriculture H.275  Farm-to-Plate Investment Program  
Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco H.13  changes in alcoholic beverage and tobacco laws  
Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco S.58  State hemp program  
Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco H.47  taxation of electronic cigarettes  
Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco H.26  restricting retail and Internet sales of electronic cigarettes, liquid nicotine, and tobacco paraphernalia  
Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco S.86  increasing legal age for buying and using cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and other tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age  
Banking & Insurance S.131  insurance and securities  
Banking & Insurance S.154  miscellaneous banking provisions  
Banking & Insurance S.109  captive insurance companies and risk retention groups 3
Business & Industry H.104  professions and occupations regulated by the Office of Professional Regulation  
Business & Industry S.18  consumer justice enforcement  
Business & Industry H.533 10% funding increase for workforce training  
Business & Industry H.427 creating rules for Vermont licensing equivalence of work credentials earned outside United States  10
Business & Industry H.82 Tax exemption for select timber harvesting equipment  
Business & Industry  S.162 promoting economic development: $5,000 for remote workers, etc.  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.287 Small probate estates  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.330 Repealing statute of limitations for civil actions based on childhood sexual abuse  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.460 Sealing and expungement of criminal history records  
Courts, Crime & Corrections S.133 Family Court jurisdiction of juveniles, up to age 25  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.321 Aggravated murder for killing a firefighter or an emergency medical provider 16
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.436 Accepting international wills in VT courts 11
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.527 Executive Branch and Judicial Branch fees  
Courts, Crime & Corrections S.112 Earned good time: 5 days/month of sentence  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.511 no statute of limitations for sexual exploitation of minor  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.512  Miscellaneous: alimony, medical marijuana, juveniles, campus sex crime task force  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.518 public education for fair and impartial policing  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.19 sexual exploitation of a person in law enforcement officer custody 8
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.7 Second degree aggravated domestic assault 7
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.278 Acknowledgment or denial of parentage  
Courts, Crime & Corrections H.132 Protecting victims of domestic and sexual violence from housing discrimination  
Education H.536  Education finance  
Education H.3 Ethnic and social equity studies standards for public schools 1
Energy H.133 Required reporting on hydro, efficiency, net-metering; pipeline excavation rules; district thermal heat funding; small hydro rates; regulation of energy storage  
Energy H.63 funding weatherization with Efficiency Vermont balances; all-fuels energy efficiency; creation of Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee to provide oversight when Legislature not in session  
Environment H.205  the regulation of neonicotinoid pesticides  
Environment H.292  miscellaneous: temporary banners over highways, September Green-up Month for rivers; moose hunting permits; crossbows; wood heat regulations.   
Environment S.113 Ban on retail/restaurant use of plastic bags, straws, etc.  
Environment S.55 Regulation of toxic substances and hazardous materials  
Environment H.218 Lead poisoning prevention 4
Environment S.40 Testing and remediation of lead in the drinking water of schools and child care facilities  
Environment S.96 Comprehensive cleanup of state waters  
Environment S.49 Polyfluoroalkyl in drinking and surface waters  
Firearms S.169 Firearms: mandatory waiting period, etc.  
Health Care S.73 Licensure of ambulatory surgical centers  
Health Care H.524 Health insurance and the individual mandate  
Health Care S.7 Social service integration with Vermont’s health care system  
Health Care S.41 Regulating tax-advantaged accounts for health-related expenses  
Health Care S.43 Limiting prior authorization requirements for medication-assisted treatment  
Health Care H.528 Rural Health Services Task Force  
Health Care S.53 Proportion of health care spending allocated to primary care 17
Health Care H.204 Navigators, Medicaid records, and the Department of Vermont Health Access 15
Health Care S.89 Allowing reflective health benefit plans at all metal levels 19
Health Care S.14  Extending moratorium on home health agency certificates of need 5
Local Government H.508 Amendments to the charter of the Town of Bennington  
Local Government H.547 Amendment to the charter of the City of Montpelier  
Local Government H.549 Dissolution of Rutland Fire District No. 10  
Local Government H.544 Amendments to the charter of the City of Burlington  
Local Government H.539 Amendments to charter of Town of Stowe and merger of Town and Stowe Fire District No. 3  
Local Government H.526 Town clerk recording fees and town restoration and preservation reserve funds  
Local Government H.59 Codification of charter of Rutland County Solid Waste District M-2
Local Government H.58 Amendments to charter of Town of Barre M-1
Local Government H.73 Amendments to charter of City of Barre M-3
Local Government H.540 Amendments to charter of Town of Williston  
Miscellaneous H.358  miscellaneous technical corrections 14
Racial, ethnic, social S.68  Indigenous Peoples’ Day replaces Columbus Day 18
State Government H.514  miscellaneous tax provisions  
State Government S.134  background investigations for State employees with access to federal tax information  
State Government H.16  boards and commissions  
State Government S.118 Time frame for adoption of administrative rules 12
State Government H.146 Increasing number of examiners on Board of Bar Examiners from nine to 11 members 13
State Government S.11 Limiting senatorial districts to a maximum of three members 2
State Government H.543 Capital construction and State bonding  
State Government H.523 Miscellaneous changes to State’s retirement systems  
State Government H.541 Changes that affect revenue of State  
State Government H.532 Fiscal year 2019 budget adjustments 6
State Government H.542 State budget  
Technology H.135 Authority of Agency of Digital Services  
Technology H.513 Broadband deployment throughout Vermont  
Transportation H.529 Transportation Program and miscellaneous changes  
Transportation S.149 Miscellaneous changes to laws related to vehicles and Department of Motor Vehicles  
Veterans S.111  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry  
Veterans H.394  Disposition of the remains of veterans 9

published by Guy Page, Page Communications
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