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VBRA Lobbyist Preview - Week 6 - February 5, 2024

02/05/2024 5:04 PM | Denis Bourbeau


House Committee Work

Agriculture, Food Resiliency, & Forestry – will review the FY 2025 Budget and spend a lot of time on H.701, an act relating to banning the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Appropriations – will continue work on the FY 2025 budget; on Monday they will hear from the Creative Economy sector, and from agency leads on Tuesday and Wednesday. ACCD will be in on Wednesday morning, along with the Department of Liquor and Lottery. They will finish the week with a report from VHCB.

Commerce and Economic Development – will devote the week to H.121, an act relating to enhancing consumer privacy. The latest posted draft is 6.1. This is a bill that has many sectors concerned, including non-profit businesses.

Environment and Energy – will continue work on H.289, an act relating to the Renewable Energy Standard, but will spend much of the week on the Act 250 bill, H.687, an act relating to community resilience and biodiversity protection through land use.

General and Housing – will continue work on H.132, an act relating to establishing a homeless bill of rights and prohibiting discrimination against persons without homes and H.137, an act relating to expanding the Vermont Housing Improvement Program. They will also consider: H.647, an act relating to creation of the Housing Board of Appeals; H.639, an act relating to disclosure of flood history of real property subject to sale; and H.556, an act relating to requiring mobile home park flood risk disclosure.

Government Operations and Military Affairs – will continue work on H.549, an act relating to the siting of outdoor cannabis cultivation, and hear an introduction to H.426, an act relating to the creation of new types of cannabis establishment licenses and the provision of the cannabis excise tax revenue. There will be an introduction by Rep. Harrison (R-Chittenden) to H.525, an act relating to ordinances governing the possession of firearms in a municipal building. They will consider  a committee bill relating to the State Ethics Commission and the State Code of Ethics. Wednesday afternoon they will receive a report regarding courthouse security. The committee will also take up H.801, Town of Waterbury Charter and H.667, an act relating to the creation of the Vermont Ireland Trade Commission. They will hold a discussion on Thursday regarding the laws governing alcoholic beverages.

Health Care – will consider audio-only telehealth services and review new health insurance mandates. They will review prior legislation and an Act 131 report regarding H.233, an act relating to pharmacy benefit management and Medicaid wholesale drug distribution. The rest of the week will be dedicated to review of sections of the FY 2025 Budget.

Human Services – will continue discussions around General Assistance Housing Modernization. There will be a joint hearing on Wednesday morning with the House Committee on Education to discuss Afterschool Funding. For the remainder of the week the committee will hear from various community partner non-profit organizations regarding their budget needs.

Transportation – will devote most of the week to the Governor’s proposed FY 2025 budget. They will continue work on  H.693, an act relating to 2024 transportation initiatives to improve infrastructure, increase resiliency, and reduce carbon emissions.

Ways & Means – Tuesday will begin with more conversations around education spending. H.657, an act relating to the modernization of Vermont’s communications taxes and fees will be considered on Wednesday. They will begin discussion on H.586, an act relating to flood protection and climate resilience infrastructure and financing, and will review their amendment to S.18, an act relating to banning flavored tobacco products and e-liquids. Work on the Miscellaneous Tax Bill begins on Thursday along with H.629, an act relating to changes to property tax abatement and tax sales. They will also consider H.608, an act relating to a nonresidential property tax surcharge.

 

Senate Committee Work

 

Agriculture – will discuss various state food programs and on Friday they will discuss animal control related to loose livestock. The committee will discuss viticulture and grape growing in Vermont with the Vermont Grape and Wine Council. They will hold a brief hearing on PFAS on Friday.

Appropriations – will spend the week working on the Budget Adjustment Act.

Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs – will spend the entire week on the BE Home Bill. 

Health and Welfare – will hear from Vermont Afterschool on Tuesday. The week will include discussions on: S.197, an act relating to the procurement and distribution of products containing PFAS and monitoring adverse health conditions attributed to PFAS; S.173, an act relating to the collection, sharing, and selling of consumer health data; and S.98, an act relating to GMCB authority over prescription drug costs.

Judiciary – will continue their work on S.209, an act relating to prohibiting unserialized firearms and unserialized firearms frames and receivers and to juvenile offenses in the Criminal Division. They will also take testimony on Prop 1 and S.58, an act relating to increasing the penalties for trafficking and dispensing or sale of a regulated drug with death resulting.

Natural Resources and Energy – will hold hearings on the following bills: S.213, an act relating to the regulation for wetlands, river corridor development and dam safety; and S.294, an act relating to minimum timeframes to act on applications related to the development of housing.

Transportation – will discuss Right of Way for telecom and power and review the DMV miscellaneous bill. They will hold various hearings related to rail and EV transportation.



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