Typically the Vermont Legislative Sessions are about 17 weeks long – beginning the first week of January and ending in the beginning of May. We are approaching the halfway mark and the Town Meeting Week break. As I do every year, I will make every effort to make it to all six Town Meetings between Monday night and Tuesday.
What’s happening with the Weighting Study
I have a UVM intern who is helping monitor activity and conversations related to the Weighting Study which has been really helpful! I am hearing from other legislators that they are reading your emails about how this injustice has impacted their students and their taxpayers for the past 20 years – thank you for taking the time to write these thoughtful commentaries. I am also hearing from legislators from large poor districts who want to know how to help ensure we see action take this year. Unfortunately I am also now seeing/hearing paid lobbying activities by districts that would like to keep the status quo. There is an important opportunity to testify coming up the week after town meeting – please let me know if this is something I can help you consider participating in.
The Senate Education Committee has taken consideration of the study up and is working on language it will put in S.46 An act relating to ethnic and social equity studies standards for public schools.
The Senate Committee on Education will hold a public hearing on the Study of Pupil Weights in Vermont’s Education Funding Formula. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room 11 of the State House in Montpelier.
Seating is limited. Witnesses may begin signing up to speak at 3:30 p.m., just prior to the hearing. Witness testimony is limited to two minutes per person. The committee will also accept written testimony at email@example.com. Please indicate Pupil Weighting Study in the subject line.
If you plan to attend and need accommodations to participate, please contact the Sergeant at Arms at 802-828-2228 by March 4, 2020, so we can make arrangements in advance.
The Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office has prepared a new memo with regard to the weighting study and using FY 20 Budget Numbers. These budgets capture much more of the completed Act 46 efforts throughout the state.
New version and timing of H.610
The newest version of H.610 An act relating to firearms and domestic violence is Version 8.2
I have been fortunate enough to receive detailed reviews of past versions of the bill from several opponents of this legislation, including concerns they have related to due process and false accusations.
We are being told that this bill will not make it to the floor for a vote of the house before Town Meeting.
H.926 An act relating to changes to Act 250 is currently in the House Ways & Means where changes are being contemplated. The most current version is here. Leadership of the House’s Rural Caucus are working with House Leaders, The House Natural Resources Committee and Trails Advocates on a possible trails amendment. Possible vote on this bill by the whole House could happen this week.
Marijuana tax and regulation
The Marijuana Bill S.54 remains in House Appropriations. I think their are enough votes to pass the bill. It is possible that the bill is being held back until other higher priorities for the House majority pass. Or it may just be parked for good.
Approximate Town Meeting Schedule Monday March 2nd evening:
- Searsburg Town Office 6:30 pm
- Stamford School Gymnasium 7:15 pm
- Readsboro School Gymnasium 8:00 pm
Approximate Town Meeting Schedule Tuesday March 3rd day:
- Wardsboro: 9:00 am
- Dover: 9:45 am
- Whitingham: 11:15 am
Recently detailed posts on specific legislative issues
- Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act first votes 2/23/20
- Information on #Vermont 2A sanctuary town declarations 2/15/20
- A significant equity concern in Vermont’s current education funding system 2/02/20
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