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VLCT issues Legislative Alerts when legislators need to hear from municipal officials about a particular issue, and when time is of the essence. Legislative Updates typically provide the status of legislative activity when information needs to be provided immediately and the Weekly Legislative Report timeline does not suffice. They are chiefly informational and do not require you to contact your legislators. Alerts and Updates posted here reflect the current biennium only. Please contact VLCT Advocacy for documents from earlier legislative sessions. 

Sen. Gov. Ops. Committee Takes Step to Help Local Government

On April 14, the Senate Government Operations Committee took one major step forward in helping municipalities relieve certain negative property tax implications at the local level. That said, the measure has a long way to go and it will need to be reviewed by the both the Senate Finance Committee and approved by the Senate as whole before it is considered in the House.

Request State-Level Loan for Municipal Education Fund Payments

April 13, 2020 – VLCT Advocacy has forwarded to the appropriate legislative committees – House Ways and Means, Senate Finance, and both Government Operations – a letter from Colchester Town Manager Aaron Frank urging the state to borrow the amount of unpaid education property tax dollars that are necessary to make the education fund whole, instead of individual municipalities.

USDA to Help Rural Communities Affected by COVID-19

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2020 – USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read the full announcement in the PDF linked below to learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide immediate relief to its customers, partners, and stakeholders.

S.54, a Bill to Regulate Cannabis

As Vermont moves toward a recreational cannabis market, municipalities will need to regulate a wide range of issues: the location of establishments relative to other uses such as schools; the number and density of permitted establishments; smoking and secondhand smoke in public places; objectionable odors; neighborhood complaints; facility security and hours of operation; prevention efforts aimed at youth; and enforcement of applicable local ordinances and bylaws.

Education Property Taxes: The Reason for the Special Session

Governor Scott called the legislature back for a special legislative session on May 23. In a special session, all bills under consideration are new bills with new numbers – although their content is from the regular session. The governor’s objective is to eliminate the need for property tax rate increases in the next fiscal year. Addressing the constant increase in education property taxes was an issue that he – and most legislators – campaigned on two years ago.

H.143, the Vehicle-for-Hire Bill

Legislative Action Alert, April 24, 2018. The House is taking up a bill that looks to move Vermont towards a uniform regulation of all vehicle-for-hire companies and drivers. Several towns and cities currently regulate taxi or “jitney” businesses pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2031. The bill, H.143, would prevent municipalities from adopting any ordinance, resolution, or bylaw that regulates transportation network companies that is inconsistent with the requirements of the bill.

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