Closing out Week 10 of the 2023
Legislative Session

Legislators spent the past week in their home districts for Town Meetings, taking a break from the State House, connecting with constituents and preparing for this week leading up to Friday’s cross-over deadline. Crossover, March 17th, is the date by which bills have to be voted out of committee. From there they either go to the House or Senate Floor for a vote of the full body or they make a stop in a money committee if the bill has an appropriation or raises revenue. Money committees have a cross-over deadline of March 24th.

Among the bills in play to make the deadline are the Child Care bill, the Paid Family Leave bill, the Omnibus Housing bill, the bill amending the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program, a Suicide Prevention bill, and several labor related bills.

What to expect in Week 11
March 13 – March 17, 2023

Note: The 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 – The committee is planning to move two bills out this week: a committee bill relating to miscellaneous agricultural subjects, and H.205, an act relating to establishing the Small Farm Diversification and Transition Program.

Appropriations – will continue their work on the FY24 Budget. They will review letters from policy committees with appropriations recommendations.

Commerce and Economic Development – will take up and spend much of the week on H.452, an act relating to expanding apprenticeship and other workforce opportunities. They will also review a new draft of H.10 (link has latest posted draft- new draft isn’t yet available), the bill that will amend Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program and anticipate voting that out of committee on Wednesday. 

Corrections and Institutions – will continue their work on the FY24-FY25 Capital Budget proposal. They will also review the latest draft of H.102, an act relating to the Art in State Buildings Program. The committee will hear updates about Department of Corrections facilities, HVAC programming and schematic design.

Education – The committee will discuss PCB testing in schools then spend most of the week taking testimony on their committee bill relating to the eligibility of approved independent schools to receive public tuition. 

Environment and Energy – will get a walkthrough of H.70, an act relating to the siting of telecommunications facilities. They will also take testimony on H.110, an act relating to extending the sunset under 30 V.S.A. 248a, and H.31, an act relating to aquatic nuisance control. 

General and Housing– will continue work on H.276, an act relating to creating a rental housing registry (which also includes a short-term rental registry) and take up H.332, an act relating to a building energy code study committee. Renewal Building Energy Standards are updated every few years and while these standards are required there is no enforcement. This bill seeks to address how to best assure builders are adhering to these regulations. 

Government Operations and Military Affairs – will possibly vote out of committee a bill that addresses miscellaneous amendments to alcoholic beverage laws as well as a committee bill regarding miscellaneous changes to law enforcement officer training laws. On Wednesday the committee will take testimony on H.270, an act relating to miscellaneous amendments to the adult-use and medical cannabis programs.   

Health Care – will discuss intervention services related to suicide prevention for much of the week.

Human Services – will spend time on H.222, an act relating to reducing overdoses. They will also review H.270, proposed changes in the medical cannabis program. They will be hearing from the Vermont Medical Society along with the VT Department of Health. Work will continue related to H.171, an act relating to adult protective services.

Judiciary – will take testimony on H.230, an act relating to implementing mechanisms to reduce suicide. They will take a straw poll vote on H.171, an act relating to adult protective services, and consider H.27, an act relating to coercive controlling behavior and abuse prevention orders. H.288, an act relating to liability for the sale of alcoholic beverages will be considered on Wednesday morning as well.

Transportation – will continue their work with the Agency of Transportation to build this year’s transportation budget.

Ways & Means – anticipates voting out of committee the following bills: H.66, an act relating to paid family and medical insurance, H.165, an act relating to universal school meals, H.127, an act relating to sports wagering, H.158, an act relating to the beverage container redemption system, and a committee bill related to technical changes to Vermont’s tax laws.

Senate Committee Work

Agriculture – will discuss electronic fencing with Dr. Kristin Haas, the State Veterinarian on Tuesday. Following this conversation there will be a review of Maine’s programs to prevent animal cruelty. The committee will close the week with a report from the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife regarding crop damage liability.

Appropriations – will spend the week largely reviewing budget request memos from policy committees.

Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs – The committee will get an introduction to S.103, an act relating to amending prohibitions against discrimination. They will continue work on S.73, an act relating to workers’ compensation coverage for firefighters with cancer. They will pick up work they began prior to town meeting week on S.102, an act relating to expanding employment protections and collective bargaining rights. They anticipate voting both S.102 and S.103 out of committee on Friday. 

Education – The committee plans to move on a bill on school safety and a bill relating to miscellaneous changes to education law. They will receive an overview of independent schools and public schools from the Secretary of Education, Dan French. 

Finance – plans to vote out of committee the following bills: S.94, an act relating to the Barre tax increment financing district, S.93, an act relating to the sales tax exemption for advanced wood boilers, S.115, an act relating to miscellaneous agricultural subjects, S.60, an act relating to local options taxes, and S.35, an act relating to Hartford’s tax increment financing district. They will close the week by taking testimony on S.112, an act relating to miscellaneous subjects related to the Public Utility Commission.

Government Operations – plans to vote out of committee the following bills: S.17, an act relating to sheriff reforms, S.42, an act relating to divestment of state pension funds in the fossil fuel industry, S.32, an act relating to ranked-choice voting for presidential primary elections, S.39, an act relating to compensation and benefits for members of the VT General Assembly, and a committee bill relating to creating a new board attached to the Department of Public Safety.

Health and Welfare – plans to vote out of committee: S.47, an act relating to the transport of individuals requiring psychiatric care, S.56, an act relating to child care and early childhood education, and S.25, an act relating to regulating cosmetic and menstrual products containing certain chemicals and chemical classes and textiles and athletic turf fields containing PFAS. 

Institutions – will continue their work on the Capital Budget.

Judiciary – intends to vote out of committee S.27, an act relating to reducing the imposition of cash bail, S.89, an act relating to establishing a forensic facility, and S.33, an act relating to miscellaneous judiciary procedures.

Natural Resources – will continue their work on S.100, an act relating to housing opportunities made for everyone with a possible out of committee on Wednesday. They expect to vote out S.80, an act relating to the miscellaneous environmental conservation subjects and a committee bill regarding energy efficiency modernization. This last bill would extend an efficiency pilot program created in 2020.  

Transportation – TBD

Related Practice Areas

Government Affairs