Legislative Update - 1 April 2022

Dear Constituents –
This week in the Statehouse was the calm after the storm. After long hours for the past two weeks, action on the House floor and in Committee was relatively light. We began by acknowledging Vietnam Veterans Day on Tuesday, recognizing those who served in the conflict. Action on H.444, a Charter Change for the City of Barre, dealing with the number and type of flags that can be displayed, was postponed until next week to give the Committee of Jurisdiction more time to review amendments made by the Senate. A Committee of Conference was named for S.53, which is a tax bill dealing with a variety of issues, not the least of which are the military pension and survivors benefits tax exemptions. The VT National Guard & Veterans Affairs Caucus that I Co-Chair submitted a letter on Monday to House leadership and the Administration voicing that we do not support the tax relief package as written, and expressing our hope that the C of C understands the importance of full exemption as a way to honor those who have served. Bills that passed this week include H.R.23, a Resolution updating the House Sexual Harassment policy, and S.183, relating to midpoint probation review.
In Committee, we continue to take testimony on H.329, an act relating to amending the prohibitions against discrimination. This bill gets more convoluted every week, and I will lead my Caucus in voting against what I see as government overreach and restrictive dictates to the Judiciary. We also continued to hear from witnesses on the Senate’s flagship housing bills, S.210 and S.226, both of which contain unpalatable poison pills and ACT 250 « reforms » that may not be seen as real reforms. The House General Committee is taking up H.631, that defines hard cider, and H.638, pertaining to direct to consumer spirits shipping licenses, both of which have tax and revenue implications for the State.
At the Rural Economic Development Working Group, discussion centered around their omnibus bill, which contains language deemed favorable to rural businesses, including our logging industry ; language in this bill can be seen in several bills scattered throughout the legislature, all in varying stages. Other important legislation for REDWnG is S.287, the Pupil Weighting System bill, which is now in House Ways and Means. Stay tuned for possible changes on this legislation that would impact property taxes as this bill moves forward.
Please reach out to me at [email protected] with your concerns.
Stay well,
Rep Lisa A Hango, Berkshire

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