Dear Constituents –
This week, my Legislative work was all about housing. My General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee pored through several proposals, including the Administration’s, allocating Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to alleviate and prevent homelessness in preparation to contribute to a four-part bill along with Small Business, Marketing, and Agriculture assistance. We have begun to meet more frequently by Zoom in order to hear more testimony and discuss these proposals, as the deadline to pass this legislation approaches. I am pleased to say that there is a strong desire to help landlords, as well as tenants, navigate the financial difficulties that they are experiencing, and there is hope to pass more emergency legislation next week. House floor sessions, also by Zoom, have increased in length and frequency in order to cover all of the bills coming out of committees and over from the Senate. All of these meetings are public and can be viewed on YouTube by livestream or recorded; the links are available on the Vermont General Assembly website and each committee’s webpage.
Two of the most important bills discussed on the House Floor this week were the Education Property Tax Yield Bill and the Interim Budget Bill. The Yield was set such that property owners would know their tax rates well in advance of due dates, and they are commensurate with the school budgets voted on at Town Meeting, so as not to put the burden of COVID-19 on taxpayers who are already struggling this year. The Budget we debated will only outline spending for the first three months of the fiscal year, beginning in July. More work on the next nine months of the budget will be done in August and September, once revenues from Sales and Use, Meals and Rooms, and Income taxes are collected on July 15.
At my NMVUUSD School Board Meeting this month, we heard updates on the effect of COVID-19 on budgets, details about creative end-of-year celebrations at local schools, summer feeding and programming challenges, and a high-level overview of what the CDC guidelines for school re-opening in the Fall could look like.
I hope that you all remain well and safe. You can reach me at [email protected] or through my website at www.hangoforhouse.com . I am honored to serve as your virtual voice in Montpelier during this unprecedented time.
Representative Lisa A Hango