Legislative Update - 24 FEB 2023 - Week#8

Dear Constituents –

The Statehouse was full this week with many groups visiting during Southern Vermont’s public school break – after three years of silent hallways, it was nice to see so many young people and their families visiting the People’s House. While we in northern Vermont are on school break this week, I highly encourage families with school-aged children to make the trip to Montpelier – our Statehouse is a living and working museum, and we are always happy to visit with constituents and have them feel welcome in our beautiful surroundings. Our doormen, our Pages, our Capitol Police, and the Sergeant at Arm’s office staff are more then willing to speak with everyone who enters the historic lobby with its unique Isle la Motte fossil flooring and soaring ceilings and to share their knowledge of the building and its inner workings. There is also an option for a self-guided audio tour.  If you do plan to be in the building, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Representatives and Senators!     

In the Government Operations & Military Affairs Committee, we continued to take testimony and re-work a bill containing changes to certain elections statutes, which started as a comprehensive committee bill draft, was combined with H.97, and ended as a much watered-down version. As of this writing, it did not have the support of the three Republicans on the committee or of members of the Progressive party, the Independents, or some members of the Democrat party. The discussion was lively and interesting, from all points of view, but in my opinion, this was a bill looking to solve a problem that either didn’t exist or didn’t solve the right one. Other committee activities revolved around: hearing bill introductions (H.105 establishing a Community Resilience and Disaster Mitigation Fund; H.140 establishing requirements for State-funded grants); listening to Budget presentations; and taking more testimony on H.270, miscellaneous amendments to the adult-use and medical cannabis programs.

The House Floor remained fairly quiet, as many committees are still working on getting the nearly 1/3 new members up to speed on areas of jurisdiction, so they aren’t passing out many bills yet. One bill of note that did pass by voice vote unanimously was H.76, relating to captive insurance, an industry that brings much-needed revenue into the State of Vermont and allows businesses to self-insure.

In the Rural Caucus, we heard presentations from Vermont Council on Rural Development in support of the Working Lands Initiative, the Regional Development Corporations, the Regional Planning Commissions, and the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, all with specific asks for the rural community.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with your questions and concerns at [email protected]

It is an honor to serve.

Stay well,

Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5

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