Dear Constituents –
This week marks the official countdown to the end of the Legislative session. We are projected to adjourn in two weeks, and committees are seeing a flurry of activity with bills passing between chambers for approval or amendments. As reported last week, S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, passed the House and is in the Senate, waiting final reading as of this writing, having passed both bodies with a majority. Other major pieces of legislation also remain embroiled in the process : H.66, paid family and medical leave, has returned to Senate Economic Development ; H.165, Universal School Meals, is in Senate Appropriations ; S.56, the childcare bill, is making its way through the House money committees on its way to the floor next week ; and S.100, the HOME bill, is still in House Environment & Energy in hopes of adding amendments that address ACT 250 reform. The Transportation and DMV bills are also making their way through the process, and the must-pass « Big Bill » (Budget, H.494) appears to be heading for a Committee of Conference next week. Of note on the House floor this week, we passed several more amendments to municipal charters ; S.36, an act relating to permitting an arrest without a warrant for assaults and threats against health care workers and disorderly conduct at health care facilities ; S.73, an act relating to workers’ compensation coverage for firefighters with cancer ; and S.91, an act relating to competency to stand trial and insanity as a defense.
In the House Government Operations Committee, we continued our work on several amendments to the charter of the City of Burlington (H.506, 507, 508, and 509) regarding elections ; S.42, divestment of State pension funds of investments in the fossil fuel industry ; and wrapped up our work on S.17, an act relating to sheriff reforms. All of these bills can be found in their most updated form by typing the bill number into the bill tracker on the Vermont General Assembly website. As most bills change substantially during the legislative process, it’s advisable to read them in their most recent form, and I will endeavor to keep the public informed as they advance.
The VT Rural Caucus met this week to hear about issues related to childcare, which is in a crisis state throughout Vermont but particularly in rural areas. The Senate passed S.56, which House Human Services and House Education amended ; this bill is projected to cost $150M. The Administration has also proposed a more reasonable version (H.340) addressing childcare needs that would require just 1/3 the investment and continue to serve Vermont families that need it most.
Please reach out to me at [email protected] with questions and concerns. It is truly an honor to serve you.
Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5