5-year economic plan, sentence reduction, contractor registry, firearms seizure bills get review

By Guy Page

In February, Vermont House committees turn from January’s “welcome back, here’s what happened when you were gone” reports from state officials and lobbyists, settle into their seats, and begin to look at bills. This week, several bills of interest will come “off the wall” of introduction and get a serious look by committee members. These include:

Thursday, 9 a.m., in Commerce and Economic Devleopment: H.57, the “Vermont Economic Solutions Act,” would create a 21-member committee to develop and implement a five-year plan for Vermont to grow the majority of its food within five years, strengthen rural infrastructure, increase Vermont household income to the top fifth in the nation, and address and prevent adverse childhood experiences.

Guy Page

Its name and structure echo last year’s “Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act,” which created a 23 member Climate Council to plan and implement mandated carbon reductions. It’s sponsored by Rep. John Gannon (D-Wilmington), vice-chair of the Government Operations Committee, and Dave Yacovone (D-Morristown), a member of House Appropriations.

Wednesday, 10 a.m., in House Institutions and Corrections and Judiciary committees: an update on Justice Reinvestment II, a law passed last July. It provides “presumptive parole” for inmates who have served the minimum sentence and met other conditions, increases frequency of parole reviews, reinstitutes “earned good time” off of a sentence, allows release to unapproved housing, and other measures aimed at getting inmates out of prison and into the community.

Wednesday, 11 a.m., in House Education: H.101 would provide $800,000 in school grants for sustainable literacy with measurable outcomes.

Tuesday, 2:30 pm, House Government Operations will review H.122, which (among other changes) would create a registry for home contractors. This bill is a priority for the Climate Solutions Caucus, because they say the state has no way to contact contractors to inform them of “green” carbon-reducing building codes. A similar bill failed last year, due in part to opponents concerns it would lead to licensure, state control, and increased building costs.

H.122 also would create yet another state council: the Vermont Higher Education Endowment Trust Fund Council. It also would remove balanced political affiliation from the Vermont Council on Women.

H.122 sponsors are committee vice-chair Gannon and House Minority Assistant Leader Rob LaClair (R – Barre Town). A vote could be held Thursday.

Tuesday, 1:45 pm, House Judiciary will review H.87: crime reclassification. This bill assigns dollar values to property crime sentencing. For example: “if the value of the property that is at issue in the offense is less than $100, the offense shall be a Class D misdemeanor.” On the other end, property crimes of $100K or more would be class D felonies, punishable by 5-10 years imprisonment. H87 is sponsored by Rep. Bill Notte (D) of Rutland City.

Thursday, 9 a.m., House Judiciary will review H.133: giving judges issuing emergency relief from abuse orders the power to require relinquishment of firearms.

Thursday afternoon, House Judiciary will review H.145, to prevent the use of hindsight in evaluating law enforcement conduct and narrow the definition of prohibited restraints. The bill is sponsored by Chair Maxine Grad (D-Moretown) and committee member Kevin Christie (D-Hartford), making its committee review and serious consideration a virtual certainty.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

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5 thoughts on “5-year economic plan, sentence reduction, contractor registry, firearms seizure bills get review

  1. If the Legislature wants to grow the Vermont economy, they have to look at what they have been doing for the past 30 years and stop doing it…….Why?……..Because what they have been doing isn’t working……It’s hindering.

  2. H57. Grow the majority of our food? Have these idiots looked outside lately? The greenhouse requirements of heating and light will probably conflict with the renewable resource folks, that do not want you to heat your house or drive any gasoline powered vehicle. They could always deliver the produce to each town once a week on the electric “Veggie bus” and residents could get a ride back to the hub closest to the hospital for appointments. They could ride with the food scraps and excrement going back to the greenhouse. No bad co2 producing cows for manure in this fine state. Of course, the same residents could only come back to their home the following week unless they wanted to walk. The next thing they would expect is for us to be eating Soylent Green ( if you do not know what it is you can look up the old movie by the same name).

    I would have commented on other proposals but enough is enough.

  3. “H.122, which (among other changes) would create a registry for home contractors. This bill is a priority for the Climate Solutions Caucus, because they say the state has no way to contact contractors to inform them of “green” carbon-reducing building codes.”

    I believe we have state and local building codes which include energy efficiency standards. If contractors are not building to code then why isn’t the state or local governments going after them?

    So why the Council? Oops I forgot, more government.

    • Neil,

      Five-year plans to Make America Great Again?

      Bernie and his comrades are behind the Sovietization of Vermont
      He celebrated his honeymoon in the USSR, before it fell apart.
      They played him like a violin.
      He got lots of attention
      He lapped it up.

      Bernie says, we will do better than the Soviets
      He has got Vermont’s abysmal financial performance, and near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy to prove it

      Would that be better than Cuba or Venezuela?

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