Dear Constituents –
This was crossover week in the House, which means that all bills had to be passed out of policy committees to stay alive. Needless to say, there are many bills (out of 700+ introduced this biennium) that won’t make it into law, but I’ll provide a sampling of those that passed this week in my Committee and on the House Floor. Any bills that affect the revenue of the State or carry an appropriation will go on to a money committee and have their own crossover deadline of next Friday.
The House General Committee worked to pass a number of bills this week: H.244, natural organic reduction; H.517, an expansion of the VT National Guard Tuition Benefit Program; H.96 a bill establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that I voted against because of the potential $3.5M estimated appropriation it will require; and an omnibus alcoholic beverages bill adding Ready to Drink (RTD) spirits beverages that is as yet un-numbered. A problematic bill that didn’t make it through my Committee was H.329, a broadly defined anti-discrimination bill that would have far-reaching implications on all aspects of employment, education, housing, and public accommodations.
On the House Floor, we voted out: H.C.R.108 declaring March 8-11 Early Childhood Week; H.679 the Committee of Conference Budget Adjustment Act report; H.717 Humanitarian aid to the Ukraine ($1 for every Vermonter plus certain liquor receipts), H.517 expansion of the VT National Guard Tuition Benefit Program that I reported favorably on the House Floor; H.680 obtaining a marriage license in any town in Vermont; as well as two bills that I voted against: H.697 allowing reserve forest land to be included in the current use program and H.115 an expansion of household hazardous waste disposal requirements. Both of these bills would put onerous regulations on landowners and households.
This week, I co-chaired the VT National Guard & Veterans Affairs Caucus where we received a Global Threats briefing from the National Guard and re-iterated our support for military pension and survivors benefits tax exemptions; the Senate currently has legislation (S.53) on their Floor including provisions that are not entirely satisfactory to the Administration or the Caucus. I also attended the Rural Economic Development Working Group and the first post-COVID meeting of the Legislative Sportsman’s Caucus.
It is an honor to serve as your Representative in the Vermont House. Please feel welcome to reach out to me at [email protected]
Rep Lisa A Hango, Berkshire