Here is perhaps the most unreported story from the state’s budgets – Vermont is paying down massive pension obligations that were neglected in the 90’s and beyond. The state owes 1.5 billion dollars in future pensions that it does not currently have reserved. In order to pay down this debt we are making payments close to 150 million dollars a year and will need to do so for the next 20 years. The Deeper Dig: Vermont’s pension funding gap, explained
Most work this week was done in committees and so very little voting on the floor. Raising the smoking age to 21, increasing the minimum wage, requiring lead testing and remediation in schools and the taxing and regulating of marijuana are all being worked on in the House and will likely emerge in the next few weeks. S.169 – relating to firearm regulation – is not currently scheduled for testimony next week in House Judiciary.
Hearings on the banning of fossil fuel infrastructure and a constitutional amendment to protect reproductive freedom are scheduled for next week – dates and time below.
“I believe our biggest threat is our declining labor force. It’s the root of every problem we face.
This makes it incredibly difficult for businesses to recruit new employees and expand, harder for communities to grow and leaves fewer of us to cover the cost of state government.”Gov. Phil Scott as quoted in the New York Times this week..
- Public hearing on fossil fuel infrastructure related to bills currently in the House Committee on Energy and Technology: H.51, H.175, and H.214 Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 5:00–7:00 p.m. Room 11, State House, Montpelier Sign-up to speak will begin at 4:15 p.m. Witness testimony will be limited to two minutes. The Committee will also accept written testimony at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate in the subject line, “Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Public Comment.” If you plan to attend and need accommodations to participate, please contact the Sergeant at Arms at 802-828-2228 by April 16 so arrangements can be made in advance.
- Public hearing on Proposal 5, proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Vermont regarding personal reproductive liberty Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 5:00–7:00 p.m. House Chamber, State House, Montpelier Seating is limited. Sign-up to speak will begin at 4:15 p.m. Witness testimony will be limited to two minutes.The Committee will also accept written testimony at the following e-mail address: email@example.com. Please indicate in the subject line, “Proposal 5 Public Comment”. If you plan to attend and need accommodations to participate, please contact the Sergeant at Arms at 802-828-2228 by April 11 so arrangements can be made in advance.
In the news:
- Is Ranked-Choice A Better Way To Vote?
- Worker incentive program wins Senate approval
- Three districts play chicken with state on Act 46 merger
This week House members lost a colleague from Springfield, Rep. Bob Forguites. Bob and I were both elected to the House in 2014 and he was really thrilled to be a representative of his people. He was a quiet kind man with a sense of humor and abundant patience. Please keep his family in your thoughts.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Laura Sibilia
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham