Rep. Sibilia: Week 9 of the 2019 Vermont legislative session

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I met up with a lot of locals  during a tough loss for  Twin Valley boys basketball team at the theBarre Auditorium.

After being out of session for the Town Meeting week – the legislature reconvened last week to finalize policy bills expected to move out of the House or Senate and over to the other legislative body.  This period of time is called “crossover”. Bills that make it through crossover and have a successful vote of either the entire House or Senate have a higher likelihood of passage by the end of the session. Bills that do not make it through crossover have a lower likelihood of passage by the end of the session, but can still be included in other bills. Once a bill passes out of the Senate or House it will be sent to a committee in the other body and maybe passed without changes or is more likely to be amended.

Below are bills that are moving in the House or Senate in the next week and may be of particular local interest.

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Bills the House will consider early next week can be found here. Bills next week that may be of particular interest:

  • H.292 An act relating to town banners over highway rights-of-way – provides exemption for town sponsored and other civic events event banners
  • H.162 Removal of buprenorphine from the misdemeanor crime of possession
    of a narcotic – This bill proposes to remove buprenorphine from the misdemeanor crime of possession of a narcotic. Buprenorphine is used to treat addiction to opioids.  It helps prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • H. 460 Sealing and expungement of criminal history records – provides for those convicted of non-violent misdemeanor and felony offenses to seal and expunge their records years after serving their sentences
  • H.528 An act relating to the Rural Health Services Task Force – proposes to create the Rural Health Services Task Force to evaluate the current state of rural health care in Vermont and to explore ways to ensure that the system is sustainable and provides access to affordable, high-quality health care services.

Bills the Senate will consider early next week can be found here. Bills next week that may be of particular interest:

  • S.108 An act relating to employee misclassification – In addition to any other remedies provided under this chapter, an individual that is misclassified by an employing unit or harmed by an employing unit’s misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor may file a complaint
  • S.132 An act relating to hate crimes and bias incidents – This bill proposes to 1) expand the authority of the Attorney General to investigate bias incidents and enforce civil penalties; 2) create a working group to establish a system of uniform reporting of bias incidents; 3) require minimum training standards for law enforcement officers to include training on hate crimes and bias incidents; and 4) require the Attorney General to report annually to the General Assembly on hate crimes and bias incidents.
  • H.39 An act relating to the extension of the deadline of school district
    mergers required by the State Board of Education – the House passed limited extensions for complying with Act 46 for a few districts with specific circumstances.  The Senate has passed a bill allowing extensions for all who form new district boards.
  • Unnumbered Senate draft Related to Firearms Procedures – this bill provides some technical exceptions to the large capacity magazine ban, record keeping to the “red flag” laws, and imposes a 24-hour waiting period on the transfer of handguns. It received a favorable 3-2 vote in Senate Judiciary last week.

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A hearing on Friday in Ways & Means on the House Broadband Bill H.513

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Vermont electric vehicle incentives available in our district

GMP offers customers free Level 2 (240 Volt) charging equipment with a new electric vehicle purchase. Existing electric car owners can obtain Level 2 equipment from GMP for a $9.99 monthly fee. Visit their in-home charging page for more details.

Customers with GMP-approved charging equipment can take advantage of GMP’s “bring your own device” (BYOD) program to receive a $10/month credit for allowing GMP to turn off their charging equipment during peak periods. Visit their Bring Your Own Device page for more details.

GMP is also working with Nissan to offer a $5,000 discount on a new 2019 LEAF purchase to their customers. And has just announced a new program to save up to $2,500 including extra discounts for low & moderate income customers when buying or leasing a new or used electric vehicle.

Vermont Public Power Supply Authority has an electric car rebate program for customers of the following municipal electric utilities: Village of Jacksonville

The rebate amount is $800 for the purchase or lease of a new all-electric vehicle or $400 for a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Low income customers are eligible for an additional $200 incentive.

VPPSA’s electric car rebate form has more information on redeeming this offer.

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In the news:

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H.444 proposes Ranked Choice Voting. A public information session will take place on April 4th at the statehouse with a representative of the coalition that brought forward Maine’s Ranked Choice voting effort to report on how it is has worked there. See more information at www.rankedchoicevt.com/ 

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Click here to monitor the bills I introduce, my committees work and my votes on roll call votes on the legislative website. You can also see what the House and Senate will be taking up each day and listen to proceedings live on VPR.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or lhsibilia@gmail.com.
Kind regards,
Rep. Laura Sibilia
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham
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