By Guy Page
A bill sponsored by Rep. Brian Smith, R-Derby, would prohibit flags other than the U.S. flag and State of Vermont flag from being flown on public school property in Vermont.
All the co-sponsors of H.92 are Republicans: Reps. Lynn Batchelor of Derby Line, Patrick Brennan of Colchester, Rodney Graham of Williamstown, Robert Helm of Fair Haven, Mark Higley of Lowell, Marcia Martel of Waterford, and Arthur Peterson of Clarendon.
“In order to allow school boards to focus on educating students and maintaining school buildings without becoming politicized over flag displays, this bill proposes to prohibit flags other than the U.S. flag and State of Vermont flag from being flown on public school property in Vermont,” the bill says.
Since the killing of George Floyd last spring and the rise of Black Lives Matters, many school districts and municipalities have been asked to fly the BLM flag. In many cases, there has lively and at times acrimonious public debate. The bill does not specifically reference BLM or any other organization.
Bill would make public transportation free, require electric buses
A bill introduced this week into the Vermont House would reduce transportation carbon emissions by expanding public transportation, incentivize electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and require some employers to take steps to reduce internal-combustion commuting.
H.94 is sponsored by Rep. Curt McCormack, D-Burlington, and co-sponsored by 73 other lawmakers (but no Republicans). The bill would:
– fund free public transportation
– offer incentives for Plug-In Electric Vehicles and motor-assisted bicycles;
– require that new buses be plug-in electric vehicles;
– require certain employers to provide level 2 electric car chargers;
– require certain employers to establish a transportation demand management plan, aimed at reducing commuter traffic;
– update Residential Building Standards regarding electric vehicle supply equipment, and Act 250 criteria for transportation;
– require more integration of bicycles into Vermont highways.
The bill was presented at the Climate Solutions Caucus Thursday as one of several climate-friendly bills. Other legislation coming this year:
– more spending on weatherization, possibly with federal pandemic recovery funds, or by allowing utility customers to pay for weatherization on their monthly bills;
– reducing forest fragmentation, via Act 250 reform;
– registering home builders. “We need a way to contact people” in the building trades industry to tell them about Vermont’s mandatory energy codes, Rep. Scott Campbell, D-St. Johnsbury, said.
Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.