Closing out Week 18 of the 2023 Legislative Session
The end is nigh. Is the end nigh? That pretty much sums up the talk around the State House’s proverbial water cooler. Token Floor sessions on Saturday advanced the calendar, and in-person working floor sessions are happening today, Monday. The work schedule has ramped up to a “get it done” pace. Will the legislature be able to complete all its business by Friday or Saturday of this week? There are some substantive bills left to resolve before adjournment—housing, childcare and the budget, chief among them.
In addition to the issues that the legislature continues to work on, the House has shelved (either permanently or until next session) two bills that seemingly had momentum after being passed by the Senate: S.9 – the bill permitting the Auditor’s office to examine finances of companies and organizations that do business with the state, and S.42 – the bill that would require the Vermont Pension Investment Commission to create a plan to divest Vermont’s pension plans from the fossil fuel industry by 2031.
The Senate gets the first bite at the apple to overturn the Governor’s expected veto of S.5, the Affordable Heat Act which creates a performance standard and marketplace of credits for greenhouse reducing activities in the heating sector. Last year the House failed, by a single vote, to override Governor Scott’s veto of a VERY similar bill. By the time this newsletter goes out, we will know whether the Senate successfully overrode the veto of S.5.
What to expect in Week 19
May 8–May 12, 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 will spend most of the week on the House Floor with their open time “to be announced” (TBA).
Appropriations – On Monday the House and Senate conferees will meet to discuss the state budget bill changes. Their remaining time will be spent on the House Floor with any open time TBA.
Commerce and Economic Development – will discuss H.121, an act relating to enhancing consumer privacy with the Attorney General’s office on Tuesday. Their remaining time is scheduled for the House Floor or TBA.
Corrections and Institution – The committee will spend most of the week on the House Floor with their open time TBA.
Education – TBA
Environment and Energy – The committee will spend most of the week on the House Floor with their open time TBA.
General and Housing – may vote on S.103, an act relating to amending the prohibitions against discrimination on Monday. The rest of the week is scheduled for the House Floor.
Government Operations and Military Affairs – will review changes the Senate made to H.127, an act relating to sports wagering, H.470, an act relating to miscellaneous amendments to alcoholic beverage laws and H.270, an act relating to miscellaneous amendments to the adult-use and medical cannabis programs. They will mark up and possibly vote on H.R.11, the House resolution relating to establishing the Special Committee on Impeachment Inquiry and granting investigatory powers, relating to the Franklin County Sheriff and State Attorney.
Health Care – will receive updates from the Department of Vermont Health Access and the Department of Mental Health.
Human Services – will possibly vote out of committee H.72, an act relating to a harm-reduction criminal justice response to drug use. They will spend the much of the week on the House Floor with remaining time TBA.
Judiciary – TBA
Transportation – will discuss S.99, an act relating to miscellaneous changes to laws related to vehicles and their conferees will meet to consider differences between the House and Senate Transportation Bill language.
Ways & Means – will vote out of committee, S.56, the childcare care bill and S.80, an act relating to miscellaneous environmental conservation subjects on Monday. Their remaining schedule is TBA.
Senate Committee Work
Agriculture – TBA
Appropriations – TBA
Education – will review changes the House made to S.138, an act relating to school safety. The rest of the week is TBA.
Finance – will possibly vote out of committee the following bills:
- H.158, an act relating to the beverage container redemption system,
- H.492, an act relating to setting the homestead property tax yields and the non homestead property tax rate,
- H.471, an act relating to technical and administrative changes to Vermont’s tax laws,
- H.480, an act relating to property valuation and reappraisals.
Government Operations – will review changes to S.17, an act relating to sheriff reforms. They will vote out of committee charter change bills.
Health and Welfare – TBA
Institutions – TBA
Judiciary – will review House changes to Senate bills that may be sent to the committee with their remaining time spent on the Senate Floor or committee time TBA.
Natural Resources and Energy – will review House changes to S.100, the housing bill. Their remaining time will be spent on the House Floor or TBA.
Transportation – will spend their week on the Senate Floor.