Legislative Update - 29 April 2022

Dear Constituents –
As is the case with the end of the session, and particularly the end of the biennium, there is a lot of « hurry up and wait » : we rush to committee to vote on amendments, then wait for other committees to do their work and get back to us ; the House floor is taken up with voting on Senate proposed amendments to bills we passed over to them before crossover. Bills that didn’t meet crossover will see language inserted into other bills that did, in hopes that the subject matter is germane. An example of this that stretches this concept is S.226, an act expanding access to safe and affordable housing, which has passed through my committee and gone on to both Ways and Means and House Appropriations. We continued to hear amendments throughout the week, oftentimes convening several times to re-word the language. The resulting bill will come to the House floor next week, and it contains multiple, complex sections expanding access to home ownership for first-generation and middle-income families, relocating mobile homes, establishing tax credits for development in downtown areas, imposing regulations on residential construction contractors, expanding fair housing law, prohibiting tax sales in certain circumstances, and creating the Vermont Land Access and Opportunity Board to ensure that marginalized populations have equitable access to land and home ownership.
The House floor saw the most action, passing : S.287, pupil weighting ; S.162, collective bargaining rights of teachers ; S.210, rental housing health and safety and affordable housing ; S.280, miscellaneous changes to laws relating to vehicles (this included an amendment calling for a study on updating truck weights for the logging industry that I offered with others); H.743, changes to the Charter of the Town of Hardwick ; S.100, extending universal school breakfast for one year, with a study on universal school lunch ; S.286, amending various public pensions and other post-employment benefits ; S.127, procedures and review of community supervision furlough revocation or interruption appeals ; S.195, certification of mental health peer support specialists ; H.635, secondary traffic offenses ; H.534, sealing criminal history records ; S.285, health care reform initiatives, data collection, and access to home- and community-based services ; S.281, hunting coyotes with dogs ; S.266, health insurance coverage for hearing aids ; H.411, retrieval and use of covered wild animals ; H.505, reclassification of penalties for lawfully possessing, dispensing, and selling a regulated drug ; H.515, related to banking, insurance, and securities ; H.711, creation of Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee and the Opioid Abatement Special Fund ; H.736, Transportation Bill. If many of these titles sound familiar, they are bills that the Senate has sent back to us with further amendment. Those I voted against : S.210, S.100, H.534, S.281, and H.505.
On Thursday, the Chairs of the VT National Guard & Veterans Affairs Caucus were invited to attend the deployment ceremony for 200 members of the 158th Fighter Wing of the VT Air National Guard. It was an honor to be there to see our servicemembers off on their mission, and to hear their leaders’ remarks.
As the session goes into its final weeks, please know that you may reach me at [email protected]
Stay well,
Rep Lisa A Hango

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