New House bills tackle immunization, cannabis, fishing access use, rent control, police use of force – and more

By Guy Page

Bills introduced into the Vermont House last week would:

  • Eliminate religious exemption for immunization
  • Protect municipal right to prevent cannabis operations
  • Enhance equity in schools on basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and identity, and disabilities
  • Ban rent hikes for two years
  • Register home contractors and educate them about ‘green’ construction
  • Allow zero-emissions vehicle manufacturers to establish warranty/service operations, and charge a mileage tax for plug-in electric vehicles
  • Require license to use fishing access
  • Plan for 20% local foods in prisons, and a new women’s transitional facility
  • Tighten police use of force
  • Make paper products manufacturers responsible for collection and recycling
  • Establish paid family leave … and much more.

With a mortality rate rivaling that of baby sea turtles crossing the sand to the ocean, most bills proceed no further than introduction. For a list of all House bills, see the Vermont Legislature website.

H.164 1/29 requiring a town to affirmatively vote to before allowing any licensed cannabisestablishment to operate
H.163 1/29 enhancing equitable learning and workplace environments in public schools for historically underserved people due to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical or mental ability
H.162 1/29 protecting student loan borrowers from deceptive and misleading practices by student loan lenders and servicers
H.161 1/29 rent stabilization and economic mobility – including no rent increases for two years
H.160 1/29 Data privacy – gives Vermonters more control over the amount and type of data that personal device manufacturers and service providers collect about them, and adopt other protections provided in the California Consumer Privacy Act.
H.159 1/29 creating the Better Places Program, to revitalize public spaces.
H.158 1/29 the sale of State-owned railroad property to benefit rail trails and preserve historic rail buildings.
H.157 1/29 registration of construction contractors, in part to contact them about carbon emissions reduction “since building thermal conditioning represents over one-quarter of the State’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
H.156 1/29 making all of Route 132 in Sharon, Strafford, Thetford, and Norwich a state highway.
H.155 1/29 Exempts zero-emissions vehicle manufacturers from prohibitions against motor vehicle manufacturers operating warranty or service facilities.
H.154 1/29 Municipal elected position declared vacant within one week of election if winner hasn’t taken oath of office.
H.153 1/29 Annual inflation hike for Medicaid reimbursement rates for home- and community-based service providers
H.152 1/28 education property tax yields proposed
H.151 1/28 vital records, mausoleums and columbaria, and emergency health orders
H.150 1/28 creating incentives for schools and establishing a goal for correctional facilities that 20% of all food purchases be locally produced foods
H.149 1/28 Adjutant and Inspector General, not governor, to adopt rules for Vermont National Guard
H.148 1/28 eliminating the religious exemption for required immunizations prior to enrollment at a school or child care facility
H.147 1/28 exempting State active duty subsistence and quarters allowance paid to members of the National Guard
H.146 1/28 Exempt disabled veterans’ pension and disability income from the definition of household income for the purposes of the property tax credit
H.145 1/28 amending the standards for law enforcement use of force: 1) prevent the use of hindsight in evaluating law enforcement conduct; and 2) narrow the definition of prohibited restraints
H.144 1/27 require the seller of real property served by a wastewater system to provide the buyer with a certificate of inspection issued within two years prior to the conveyance
H.143 1/27 Increase special education state aid for prekindergarten students to match K-12 students
H.142 1/27 Extended collection, recycling responsibility for producers of packaging and paper products
H.141 1/27 banning flavored tobacco products and e-liquids
H.140 1/27 approval of amendments to the charter of the Town of Williston
H.139 1/27 workers’ compensation benefits and protections against retaliation
H.138 1/26 fiscal year 2021 budget adjustments
H.137 1/26 Creates, funds planning and siting process for Dept. of Corrections women’s transitional housing facility
H.136 1/26 Free Abenaki trapping licenses, required license for fishing access use
H.135 1/26 the State Ethics Commission
H.134 1/26 paid family and medical leave insurance
H.133 1/26 emergency relief from abuse orders and relinquishment of firearms
H.132 1/26 possession of firearms by persons subject to final relief from abuse orders
H.131 1/26 exempting transfers of property between siblings or sibling’s spouse from the Property Transfer Tax
H.130 1/26 establishing standards for how a religious school can demonstrate that it is not using public tuition for religious instruction
H.129 1/26 Project-based (not just municipal) tax increment financing (TIF) districts
H.128 1/26 limiting criminal defenses based on victim identity- prohibit adefendant in a criminal proceeding from using information about the victim’s actual or perceived gender identity to justify the criminal conduct of the defendant or mitigate the severity of the offense.
H.127 1/26 approval of amendments to the charter of the Town of Barre
H.126 1/26 pedestrian safety
H.125 1/26 motor vehicle lease buyouts and registration fee refunds
H.124 1/26 Gives Legislature more say in memberships of Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) Program
H.123 1/26 Charge a vehicle-miles-traveled tax for plug-in electric vehicles, comparable to fuel tax at the pump for gasoline and diesel.
H.122 1/26 boards and commissions- removes political appointee limitations to Vermont Commission on Women
H.121 1/26 licensure of freestanding birth centers
H.120 1/26 updates to Act 250
H.119 1/26 a new State Employees’ Retirement System and State Teachers’ Retirement System – establishes payback plan, limits General Fund contribution.
H.118 1/26 enhanced mental health supports and services for professionals in the medical, legal, and accounting fields
H.117 1/26 expanding workers’ compensation coverage for firefighters with cancer
H.116 1/26 prohibiting the involuntary sterilization of individuals with an intellectual disability
Image courtesy of TNR