Legislative Update - 15 March 2024

Dear Constituents -

Friday, March 15 marked the midpoint of the Legislative session with crossover day, and all bills with viability, unless they contain appropriations, have moved to the other body in the Legislature for further review. Those that do require appropriations have an extra week to pass to the other chamber.

This week in House Government Operations & Military Affairs, we continued to take testimony at a frantic pace, producing draft after draft of legislation as we tried to keep up with all the changes generated from committee members’ questions, wording gotten “not quite right”, and outside meetings that happened after hours to rework the language to try to “get to a yes vote”. Bills that passed out of the committee just this week are: H.702 (legislative operations and government accountability); H.872 (VT criminal justice council amendments); H.606 (professional licensure and immigration status); H.644 (access to records by individuals in foster care); H.622 (Emergency Medical Services); H.140 (state-funded grants); H.845 (designating November as Vermont Month of the Veteran); H.585 (amending the pension system for sheriffs and certain deputy sheriffs); H.875  (State & Municipal Code of Ethics); and H.626 (Animal Welfare).

On the House Floor, we had an extended debate on S.18 (banning flavored tobacco products and e-liquids) and a long debate on H.645 (expansion of approaches to restorative justice); we also passed H.534 (retail theft), H.870 (professions and occupations regulated by the Office of Professional Regulation); H.766 (prior authorization and step therapy requirements, health insurance claims, provider contracts, and collection of cost-sharing amounts); H.856 (medical leave for a serious injury). We also had the distinct pleasure of honoring Torpedoman Henry Breault, on the 100th anniversary of him being awarded the Medal of Honor; he was the first enlisted man to have ever received the Medal, for saving the life of his fellow submariner while in the Panama Canal.

If you would like to read more about these bills (and those passed by the Senate), you can type the bill number into the bill tracker on the General Assembly website and click on the most updated version of that bill (“As passed by the House” or “As passed by the Senate”, official or unofficial).  You may also explore that webpage further and click on “details” below the passed bill language for any roll call votes to see how your Representative or Senator voted on that bill.

The next steps for these bills will involve taking more testimony in sister committees in the other body. They stand to be changed in many ways. You can follow the progress in the committees where the bill is assigned by viewing that committee’s posted agendas. All committee hearings are available recorded on YouTube through the General Assembly website. Please reach out to me at [email protected].

Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango

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