Dear Constituents –
In the Vermont Statehouse, we continue to take up bills sent from the other Chamber, adding and subtracting language in a manner that I’ve not seen previously. My opinion of this « sausage-making », as it’s called, is that it’s confusing to the lay person, haphazard, and a result of poor time-management. Committees have unlimited time to take testimony on bills that are on other Committee’s walls, yet when it comes time to vote out a bill with multiple, complex sections, we are told that there « hasn’t been time to fully vet this, but it’s OK to vote it out », because we will « work on it later ». I object to this process, and I’ve been vocal about it since the first day I sat in House General. This week, we put out two very complicated, convoluted housing bills (S.210 and S.226) that in the past few days had sections re-arranged and added on pertaining to fair housing practices, tax sales, racial and social equity in land access and property ownership, and changes to the previously vetoed Residential Construction Contractor Registry.
On the House Floor, the schedule was light, as most of the work was being done in Committee. Favorable bills passed include : H.741, changes to the Charter of the City of St Albans ; S.171, adoption of State Code of Ethics ; S.163, State court petitions for vulnerable noncitizen youth ; H.629, access to adoption records; and H.461, excluding income of asylum seekers and refugees from household income. Some of these may sound familiar, as they previously passed the House and came back to us with further amendment from the Senate. Bills that I voted against this week are : S.265, expanding criminal threats to include threats to third persons ; S.74, modifications to Vermont’s patient choice at end of life laws ; S.254, recovering damages for Article 11 violations ; and H.708, amendments to the Charter of the City of Burlington. If you would like further information on any of these bills, you may use the bill tracker feature on the Vermont General Assembly website, www.legislature.Vermont.gov
On Tuesday, I chaired the VT National Guard & Veterans Affairs Caucus meeting. We hosted members of the VT National Guard who briefed us on the State Partnership Program with Austria and the upcoming visit by the Austrian delegation for the signing of the Partnership on May 11. I also updated members on the progress of legislation that is pertinent to the military, including H.517 (National Guard Tuition Benefit Program and Qualifications for the Adjutant General) and S.53 (containing tax exemptions for military pensions and survivors benefits). There is talk of the Legislature adjourning early this year, around May 6, so there is an urgency to pass priority legislation ASAP, and I am following it very closely on behalf of the military caucus.
It is my honor to serve my constituents in the Vermont House. Please reach out to me with your concerns at [email protected]
Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5
Legislative Update - 15 April 2022
Dear Constituents –