Dear Constituents –
Committee work kept us busy at the Vermont Statehouse this week. The House Government Operations and Military Affairs Committee dug into several bills: H.549 siting of cannabis cultivation; H.726 compliance checks by the Dept of Liquor and Lottery; H.426 creation of new cannabis licenses; State and municipal ethics committee bills (not numbered); H.730 uniformly removing members of State Boards and Commissions; H.667 Vermont-Ireland Trade Commission; H.801 Town of Waterbury charter change; miscellaneous Committee Dept of Liquor and Lottery bill; H.641 authorizing boards of abatement to hear like cases as a class; and S.154 VT State Plane Coordinate System. Our portfolio is wide and varied; if you would like to learn more about these bills, they can be found by using the bill tracker function on the General Assembly website or looking at our Committee webpage.
On the House floor, our business was completed quickly. We passed H.666 an act relating to escrow deposit bonds; H.751 an act expanding equal pay protections; and H.849 the annual Technical Corrections bill.
Of note, the Senate passed H.839 the Budget Adjustment Act, with further amendments, so that bill will now go to a Committee of Conference, which will result in a compromise bill to send to the Governor.
At the Rural Caucus this week, we heard presenters from two perspectives on how Act 250 appeals should be heard. Act 250 is our 50+ year old land use law, and it is long overdue to be modernized. Without reforms to the statutes, creation of new housing for all Vermonters will continue to lag far behind demand for housing. For more information on proposed changes to the law, the VT Natural Resources Board website is a good place to start with the results of the “Necessary Updates to Act 250” study. H.719 and the Senate Economic Development Committee bill, the “BE HOME” bill are two pieces of legislation addressing housing needs that are getting a lot of airtime in Montpelier. H.687 in House Environment & Energy is a bill that is also getting a lot of attention, which is concerning to me. The proposed changes to the law that this bill would implement can be seen by looking at these two maps of Act 250 triggers: currentlyhttps://anrmaps.vermont.gov/websites/public/SecretaryRequest/02072024_ACT250Existing.pdf
And if H.687 were to pass https://anrmaps.vermont.gov/websites/public/SecretaryRequest/02062024_ACT250Triggers_rev2.pdf
It is an honor to serve as your Representative.
Rep Lisa Hango, Franklin-5