Legislative Update - 3 May 2024

Dear Constituents -

We are approaching the final week of the Legislative session, which is characterized by frenzied attempts to pass bills; this often looks like advocates requesting new policy at the 11th hour, new language being adopted without thorough review, reliance on other committees or individuals to “fix the issues” as it moves through the process, and a general “pass it any way we can” mentality. This is not good policy-making! The VT Legislature meets January-May, with the exception of Town Meeting Week. There would be plenty of time to get it right, if we had appropriate and reasonable criteria for a bill to be considered, rather than allowing the supermajority leadership to determine whose bills take priority; instead, we continue to take up an increasing number of new bills and leave others hanging until the final weeks.  Very few of the bills before us are “must pass” (the Budget is one). For example, last biennium, there were 130 bills in my Committee, and we took up 59 of them; this biennium, that number grew to 173 with 74 being passed out as of this writing. That is an unsustainable number! There is not enough time to adequately vet all of these bills, many of them priorities of the powerful lobbies that work year-round to put their preferred candidates in office. You will see the unfortunate results of those efforts in your hard-earned paychecks and at restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, and the gas pumps. Vermont is unaffordable for working Vermonters; taxpayers and businesses are bearing the brunt of that reality. To counter this trend, I work very hard to not raise taxes or add new fees, and I hope that my efforts will be supported at the polls this year, along with other fiscal conservatives like myself across the State. Candidates are currently circulating petitions to get their names on the ballot – please take the time to vet those candidates: look at their voting records and webpages to learn what issues they support.  Ask yourself if they truly represent the Vermont you want to live in!

To learn which bills were passed this week, the daily House and Senate Journals are available online at the Vermont General Assembly website; they are too numerous to list here. These can be found by clicking on “More House Information” and “More Senate Information”. Each committee’s webpages also list all bills passed from that committee, which can be found by clicking on “Bills Out of Committee”. To learn the status of those bills, type into the bill tracker the letter and number of the bill, and you will see its’ current location.

A sampling of bills of interest this week include:  S.259 (climate change cost recovery); S.195 (how a defendant’s criminal record is considered in imposing conditions of release); S. 58 (public safety); H.766 (prior authorization and step therapy requirements health insurance claims, and provider contracts); S.196 (types of evidence permitted in weight of evidence hearings); S.309 (miscellaneous changes to laws related to Department of Motor Vehicles, motor vehicles, and vessels); S.213 (regulation of wetlands, river corridor development and dam safety); H.889 (Pay Act). Please reach out at [email protected]

Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.