By Guy Page
Teachers, tenants and farmers would benefit from bills proposed in the House.
H.76, introduced by Rep. Lucy Rogers (D-Waterville) would clarify that “a tenant, and not the landowner, has the right to post political signs on the property in order to ensure tenants’ rights to express themselves politically.”
H.67, introduced by Rep. Jim Harrison (R-Killington) would authorize a farmer to seek compensation from the Department of Fish and Wildlife for damage by a black bear to crops, fruit trees, or crop-bearing plants.
H.79, introduced by Rep. Maida Townsend (D-South Burlington), would “require each applicant seeking to obtain or renew a license to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in Vermont to have completed at least one three-credit course in African American history at an accredited college or university, covering the period from the European colonization of North America through the end of the 20th century.”
H.80, also introduced by Townsend, would prevent interference with a teacher’s right to seek employment while under contract, make laws about teacher suspension and termination subject to collective bargaining, and protect a teacher from discipline for testifying before the General Assembly or the State Board of Education.
In the Senate
A Senate bill adding to the commercial cannabis law would require more funding for police training and substance abuse prevention, and would reduce licensing fees for minorities, among other proposed changes.
S.25, introduced by Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) and co-sponsored by Sens. Chris Pearson (P-Chittenden), Dick Sears (D-Bennington), and Jeanette White (D-Windham), would add several requirements to the commercial cannabis law passed last year:
- Sets a March, 2022 deadline for all community “opt-in” voting on whether or not to approve commercial cannabis. It also provides a uniform question for all towns: “Shall licensed cannabis retailers and integrated licensees be permitted to sell cannabis to adults 21 years of age and older in this town?”
- Cannabis Control Board shall consider reduced licensing fees for minorities and others who historically have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.
- Funding for police training on roadside impairment testing;
- A quarter of “flower” sold by licensees must come from small growers;
- 30% of cannabis excise tax revenue, not to exceed $10 million, shall be used to fund substance misuse prevention.
The Scott administration is still taking applications for the Cannabis Control Board, tasked with establishing the regulatory structure of legal cannabis growing, production and sale. About 94 people have applied, mostly men and mostly white people, according to a Seven Days news story.
For a complete list of new legislation, see the Vermont Legislature website.
Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.