Dear Constituents –
The end of the legislative session is in sight – next week looks to be our last, and then the campaign season will begin in earnest. Most of what we did this week was vote to concur with or amend bills being returned from the Senate. In Committee, we dealt with our two housing bills, S.210 and S.226, both of which I’ve repeatedly voted against due to the government overreach that is exemplified in the registries that the bills set up. Each bill had several amendments that we took up and voted on, none of which made the bills significantly more palatable. Housing is a basic need for all Vermonters, but more government regulations will not build more homes. We were also intoduced to a Resolution, J.R.H.22, that directs the President and Congress of the United States to spearhead a global effort to prevent nuclear war and opposing the basing of nuclear weapons in Vermont. It is unclear to me if this will make it out of my Committee, but I will not be voting to do so.
The General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee received H.517, expanding the National Guard Tuition Benefits Program, back with amendments from Senate Education. They concurred with the expansion of the program, which I’ve written about in past news blogs, and added several sections : Education of military families – providing in-State tuition benefits for the spouse and dependent child of any person who is a member of the US Armed Forces and stationed in this State pursuant to military orders ; Purple Star Campus Designation – enabling the Agency of Education to designate a school district as a Purple Star Campus if the school district applies and qualifies for the designation, which would recognize a school that is committed to providing a welcoming environment for military-connected children ; Eligibility for Election to Serve as Adjutant and Inspector General – provides qualifications to be eligible to be selected as the Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard, where there were none in statute . This is a bill I am particularly proud of, as Co-Chair of the VT National Guard & Veterans Affairs Caucus, having worked closely with the Senate Education and Senate Government Operations Committees to include this language for the benefit of Vermont’s military families and our National Guard. The bill as amended passed through the Senate committee of jurisdiction, on the Senate floor, the House committee of jurisdiction, and on the House floor unanimously.
On the House floor this week, we took up numerous bills, predominantly amendments from the Senate, sending legislation back to them with concurrence or with further amendment, or to a Committee of Conference if there appears to be no easy path forward in Committee. These bills are too numerous to list, but if you wish to view them, please go to www.legislature.vermont.gov, and click on each day’s House Journal.
On Thursday evening, the House recessed so members were able to attend the Statehouse unveiling ceremony of the portrait of Rep Alexander Twilight of Brownington, who was the first person of African American descent to serve in the Vermont General Assembly and to graduate from a US college.
Please reach out to me at [email protected] with any questions or concerns.
Rep Lisa A Hango, Berkshire
Legislative Update - 6 May 2022
Dear Constituents –