Dear Constituents –
This week in the Statehouse we saw relatively little action on the House floor, as committees dug into the bills sent from the other chamber. Tuesday marked the beginning of the Month of the Military Child, and a Resolution was passed honoring the sacrifices our military families make for our freedoms. Retired Air Force Colonel and current Representative Michael Morgan of Milton welcomed guests from the National Guard Family Support Program and Vermont military families on the House floor after the reading of the Resolution. Bills that passed were largely without debate, and several of them came from the House Government Operations Committee : H.146, amendments to the charter of the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District ; H.271, amendments to the charter of the Town of Springfield ; H.418, amendments to the charter of the Town of Barre ; H.150, amendments to the charter of the Village of Alburgh ; H.495, an act relating to the approval of the amendment to the Town of Middlebury ; H.98, an act relating to approval of the amendments to the charter of the Town of Ludlow ; S.54, an act relating to individual and small group insurance markets ; and H.282, an act relating to the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact. We were able to vote for H.282, a worthy bill extending reciprocal licensure within compact states to psychologists who want to practice in Vermont who hold licenses in other states, after House Ways & Means withdrew a $7M increase in Office of Professional Regulation fee increases from this bill. There is no reason to raise fees and taxes in this time of surplus money in the State’s coffers !
In House Government Operations & Military Affairs, our work continued to focus on amendments to Town Charters, which are brought to us by municipalities after a positive vote at the polls. We also took up S.17 dealing with sheriff reforms and took a drive through of S.6, an act relating to law enforcement interrogation policies which is in House Judiciary, and we are beginning to look at S.9, an act relating to the authority of the State Auditor to examine the books and records of State contractors. These bills all came to us from the Senate, and at first glance, they appear to be addressing very specific issues, rather than being Statewide solutions.
I was invited to introduce three bills to committees of jurisdiction this week : H.328, an act relating to requiring licensed athletic trainers at secondary school athletic events and practices, in House Education ; H.99, an act relating to the Vermont National Guard Tuition Benefit Program, which is now part of H.461, the miscellaneous education bill, in Senate Education ; and H.255, an act relating to exempting all military retirement and military survivor benefit income from State income tax, in House Ways & Means. I also spent time working with our UVM intern students on their assignments supporting the GOP Caucus, met with the Northeast Regional Defense State Liaison Officer from the Department of Defense on national priority policy issues, and the National Guard and Vermont Workforce Development Coordinator on growing Vermont’s workforce through partnerships with the Guard.
Also this week, a group of students from Sheldon Elementary School were touring the Statehouse, as well as a contingent of students and advisors from MVU who are part of the OVX advocacy network. It was great to see so many young people learning how government in Vermont works !
As always, it is an honor to serve you. Please reach out to me at [email protected]
Rep Lisa Hango, Franklin-5