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Legislative Preview for Feb 26 – March 1

February 26, 2024

this week

The content below is provided by our advocacy partners.

Note: Legislative Committee Agendas are updated frequently throughout each day. The latest committee schedule can be found on this link. A list of weekly hearings for all committees can be found here.

House Committee Work

Agriculture, Food Resiliency, & Forestry – will continue work on H.706, an act relating to banning the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, and H.128, an act relating to removing regulatory barriers for working lands businesses. They will spend two mornings on a bill to designate the State Mushroom.

Appropriations – will continue work on the FY 2025 budget and negotiating in a committee of conference with Senate Appropriations on the FY 2024 Budget Adjustment Act.

Commerce and Economic Development – will review a new draft of H.121, an act related to data privacy on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday,  the committee will get a walk-through of H.536, an act relating to homeowners’ insurance and dog breed discrimination, and spend time on  H.707, an act relating to revising the delivery and governance of the Vermont workforce system.  The remaining schedule is TBA.

Corrections and Institutions – will devote most of the week to the Governor’s Capital Budget Adjustment and discussions pertaining to many services related to corrections.

Education – On Tuesday the committee will discuss their bill, an act relating to the development of an updated State aid to school construction program, and continue taking testimony regarding education cost drivers.

Environment and Energy – 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– TBA.

Government Operations and Military Affairs – will review the work done in Ways and Means on H.629, an act relating to property tax abatement and tax sales. They will take testimony on H.612, an act relating to cannabis amendments, voting that out of committee on Friday.

Health Care – will continue work on H.721, an act relating to expanding access to Medicaid and Dr. Dynasaur. They may vote out H.766, an act relating to prior authorization, and H.233, an act relating to pharmacy benefit management on Wednesday. They have reserved Friday for these votes if they don’t complete this work on Wednesday.

Human Services – The committee will continue discussion regarding General Assistance Housing Modernization. Most of the week will be devoted to H.661, an act relating to child abuse and neglect investigation.

Judiciary – will discuss H.543, an act relating to retail theft, on Wednesday with a possible vote on Friday. They will spend most of the week on H.655, an act relating to qualifying offenses for sealing criminal history records and access to sealed criminal history records.

Transportation – will devote most of the week to the Governor’s proposed FY 2025 transportation budget. There will be a walk-through of S.309, an act relating to miscellaneous changes to DMV, motor vehicles, and vessels on Thursday.

Ways & Means –  will continue work regarding education spending, will vote on H.10, an act relating to amending VEGI, on Wednesday and also discuss H.679, an act relating to establishing a property tax surcharge and allocation of property transfer tax revenue. They will review H.279, an act relating to the Uniform Trust Decanting Act, and H.350, an act relating to the Uniform Directed Trust Act on Wednesday as well.

 

Senate Committee Work

Agriculture – will continue work on S.301, an act relating to miscellaneous agricultural subjects, and hold committee discussions TBA.

Appropriations – will continue work on the FY 2025 budget.

Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs – will take testimony on S.289, an act relating to age-appropriate design code. They will possibly vote on PR.3 – Right to Collectively Bargain. They will receive a walk-through of: S.175, an act relating to requiring retail businesses to accept cash; S.271, an act relating to a right to charge electric vehicles at home; S.246, an act relating to amending the Vermont basic needs budget and livable wage; and S.247, an act relating to repealing the VEGI sunset. 

Education – TBA.

Finance – will continue discussions on school finance. They will receive a walk-through of a housing bill. The rest of the week is TBA.

Government Operations – will continue work on S.55, an act relating to authorizing public bodies to meet electronically under Vermont’s Open Meeting Law, with a possible vote on Tuesday. They will review a new draft of S.310 (draft 2.1 summary), an act relating to natural disaster government response, recovery and resiliency, along with a new draft of S.159, an act relating to the county governance study. They will consider S.518, an act relating to the charter of the City of Essex Junction, and S.801, an act relating to approval of the adoption of the charter of Town of Waterbury.

Health and Welfare – will work on: S.189, an act relating to mental health response service protocols; S.192, an act relating to forensic facility admissions criteria and processes; S.197, an act relating to PFAS and PFOA which proposes a ban on products containing PFAS starting in 2030; S.151, an act relating to pay parity and transparency in health care; and S.98, and act relating to Green Mountain Care Board authority over prescription drug costs. On Thursday they will take up S.114, an act relating to removal of criminal penalties for possessing, dispensing, or selling psilocybin.

Institutions – will review the Governor’s recommended FY 2024-25 Capital Budget Adjustment.

Judiciary – will possibly vote on S.58, an act relating to increasing the penalties for dispensing a regulated drug. They will continue testimony on Friday regarding Prop 4 – declaration of rights; government for the people; equality of rights. They will also hear testimony on S.259, an act relating to climate change cost recovery.

Natural Resources and Energy – will possibly vote on S.258, an act relating to the management of fish and wildlife, on Tuesday. On Wednesday the committee will take testimony on S.254, an act relating to including rechargeable batteries and battery containing products under the state battery stewardship program. S.254 is on their agenda for the rest of the week.

Transportation – will walk through a new draft of S.184, an act relating to the use of automated traffic law enforcement systems, on Tuesday and continue this work on Thursday and Friday.