Legislative Update - April 19, 2024

Dear Constituents -

At the Statehouse this week, the countdown to adjournment has begun.  Good sources have the target date set as May 10 – I look forward to seeing if they are right! The pace is frantic, with last-minute witnesses testifying in committees on crucial bills, side deals being made in hallways, bills being held hostage by one chamber to get something in return from the other, and caucuses jockeying for position on must-pass legislation. In Committee, we are focusing on S.310 (natural disaster response, recovery & resiliency), trying to understand the intricacies of emergency management when disaster strikes. We are also continuing to take testimony on S.55 (changes to Open Meeting Law).  If municipalities or others have comments on the most recent draft (found on the House Government Operations webpage), time is ticking, and we need to hear comments this week!On the House Floor, we passed several bills this week: S.199 (governance & merger of CUDs); S.189 (mental health response service guidelines); H.626 (Animal Welfare); S.30 (study to create a Sister State Program); S.109 (study of Medicaid coverage for doula services); the “ghost gun” bill final reading was postponed. It was a busy week outside of our usual committee/floor schedule: with a meeting of the  VT National Guard & Veterans Affairs Caucus on Tuesday, where we heard about the VT National Guard Primary Prevention Workplace Program, which strives to provide opportunities to prevent assault and harassment; and a Rural Caucus meeting on Thursday, where we heard from both sides of S.258 (an act relating to the management of fish & wildlife), weighing in on the potential change in makeup of the Fish & Wildlife Board and the ban on hunting coyotes with dogs. This is legislation that is near and dear to our hearts in rural Vermont, and if you have an opinion, please reach out to the House Environment & Energy Committee, which is taking testimony this week in hopes of voting out those changes. On the House Floor, there was a reading of the Resolution honoring the USS-VT Support Group’s work on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the commissioning of the USS-VT submarine. I introduced the group on the House Floor and relayed the crew’s sentiments that the items donated by Vermont businesses that make their way to the boat via the VSG are much appreciated by those sailors who call themselves honorary Vermonters. At Farmers’ Night on Wednesday, a weekly cultural diversion from our hard work under the Dome, the Lieutenant Governor referenced “sausage-making” when speaking of these last few weeks of the biennium when most legislators are trying to get their bills across the finish line in any way, shape, or form that they can.  I can honestly say that is what we are doing! Thank you all for reaching out on various bills that are coming before us – constituent voices are the most powerful when it comes to legislating, so keep up the great work informing us of your opinions.  My email is [email protected] 

Stay well,

Rep Lisa Hango

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