By Guy Page
When the House adjourned Friday, the Vermont Legislature had passed 86 bills (see list below). Some have already been enacted into law. The rest wait for Gov. Phil Scott to sign, allow to pass into law unsigned, or veto.
Spokespersons for House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and the House Clerk’s Office both confirmed today the House will not return this year. However the Senate will meet Wednesday. If it approves bills sent to them by the House before it adjourned, there will be even more legislation for Scott to consider.
This afternoon, we list every bill (not including resolutions) passed by the Legislature this year. Most category and subject headings are of Headliners’ own creation, because the “official” names for many of the bills were not sufficiently descriptive.
- If an annual award was given out for the most roll calls, H.57, unrestricted abortion, would be the winner going away, with 16. No other bill reached double figures. “Over a dozen amendments offered to H.57 on the floor of the House were overwhelmingly rejected – including those that would have protected a viable unborn child from harm,” said Sharon Toborg, Policy Analyst for Vermont Right to Life, in a statement released today. “Even some pro-choice House members were shocked that supporters of H.57 would not protect any unborn child at any stage of pregnancy, and rejected proposed amendments to involve the parents of a minor.”
- Receiving far less public attention was removal of protections for children in the womb from little-noticed H525, the miscellaneous agriculture bill. H.525 covers many farm-related topics, including elimination of the current required, written warning that unpasteurized milk sold at farmstands can cause “miscarriage, fetal death, or death of a newborn.” Written warning about potential bacterial harm to children, elders, and pregnant women is still required.
- Crime-related legislation will, unless vetoed, make Vermont tougher on sex abusers and killers of firefighters/EMTs, and easier on many drug and property criminals.
- Smoking and buying tobacco-related products will be more regulated and, for people under 21, illegal.
- The public will be educated about bias-free policing, including not cooperating with ICE interest in illegal immigrants. A 20-person working group will investigate racial, ethnic, social, and identity bias in local Vermont schools.
- A House/Senate Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee will be created to provide oversight when the Legislature is not in session.
- The sale of refrigerants approved a decade or so ago to save the ozone layer will be banned (over a five year period) because they emit greenhouse gases.
- Work will begin on cleaning up polluted state waters, and on removing lead from school drinking water.
- Plastic bags and straws in stores and restaurants will be banned
- Handgun sales will have a 24-hour waiting period.
- A half-cent increase in the Universal Service fee on cellphone and cable TV bills will pay for expanding broadband to under or unserved Vermont communities.
To peruse this list or to see bills passed only by the House or Senate, click here.
Bills Passed by 2019 Legislature (not including last-minute approvals by Senate today)
|Category||Bill #||Subject(s)||Act #|
|Abortion||H.57||unrestricted right to abortion|
|Agriculture||H.525||miscellaneous farm subjects, including GMO seeds, unpasteurized milk|
|Agriculture||H.79||eligibility for farm-to-school grant assistance|
|Agriculture||H.275||Farm-to-Plate Investment Program|
|Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco||H.13||changes in alcoholic beverage and tobacco laws|
|Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco||S.58||State hemp program|
|Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco||H.47||taxation of electronic cigarettes|
|Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco||H.26||restricting retail and Internet sales of electronic cigarettes, liquid nicotine, and tobacco paraphernalia|
|Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco||S.86||increasing legal age for buying and using cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and other tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age|
|Banking & Insurance||S.131||insurance and securities|
|Banking & Insurance||S.154||miscellaneous banking provisions|
|Banking & Insurance||S.109||captive insurance companies and risk retention groups||3|
|Business & Industry||H.104||professions and occupations regulated by the Office of Professional Regulation|
|Business & Industry||S.18||consumer justice enforcement|
|Business & Industry||H.533||10% funding increase for workforce training|
|Business & Industry||H.427||creating rules for Vermont licensing equivalence of work credentials earned outside United States||10|
|Business & Industry||H.82||Tax exemption for select timber harvesting equipment|
|Business & Industry||S.162||promoting economic development: $5,000 for remote workers, etc.|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.287||Small probate estates|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.330||Repealing statute of limitations for civil actions based on childhood sexual abuse|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.460||Sealing and expungement of criminal history records|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||S.133||Family Court jurisdiction of juveniles, up to age 25|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.321||Aggravated murder for killing a firefighter or an emergency medical provider||16|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.436||Accepting international wills in VT courts||11|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.527||Executive Branch and Judicial Branch fees|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||S.112||Earned good time: 5 days/month of sentence|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.511||no statute of limitations for sexual exploitation of minor|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.512||Miscellaneous: alimony, medical marijuana, juveniles, campus sex crime task force|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.518||public education for fair and impartial policing|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.19||sexual exploitation of a person in law enforcement officer custody||8|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.7||Second degree aggravated domestic assault||7|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.278||Acknowledgment or denial of parentage|
|Courts, Crime & Corrections||H.132||Protecting victims of domestic and sexual violence from housing discrimination|
|Education||H.3||Ethnic and social equity studies standards for public schools||1|
|Energy||H.133||Required reporting on hydro, efficiency, net-metering; pipeline excavation rules; district thermal heat funding; small hydro rates; regulation of energy storage|
|Energy||H.63||funding weatherization with Efficiency Vermont balances; all-fuels energy efficiency; creation of Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee to provide oversight when Legislature not in session|
|Environment||H.205||the regulation of neonicotinoid pesticides|
|Environment||H.292||miscellaneous: temporary banners over highways, September Green-up Month for rivers; moose hunting permits; crossbows; wood heat regulations.|
|Environment||S.113||Ban on retail/restaurant use of plastic bags, straws, etc.|
|Environment||S.55||Regulation of toxic substances and hazardous materials|
|Environment||H.218||Lead poisoning prevention||4|
|Environment||S.40||Testing and remediation of lead in the drinking water of schools and child care facilities|
|Environment||S.96||Comprehensive cleanup of state waters|
|Environment||S.49||Polyfluoroalkyl in drinking and surface waters|
|Firearms||S.169||Firearms: mandatory waiting period, etc.|
|Health Care||S.73||Licensure of ambulatory surgical centers|
|Health Care||H.524||Health insurance and the individual mandate|
|Health Care||S.7||Social service integration with Vermont’s health care system|
|Health Care||S.41||Regulating tax-advantaged accounts for health-related expenses|
|Health Care||S.43||Limiting prior authorization requirements for medication-assisted treatment|
|Health Care||H.528||Rural Health Services Task Force|
|Health Care||S.53||Proportion of health care spending allocated to primary care||17|
|Health Care||H.204||Navigators, Medicaid records, and the Department of Vermont Health Access||15|
|Health Care||S.89||Allowing reflective health benefit plans at all metal levels||19|
|Health Care||S.14||Extending moratorium on home health agency certificates of need||5|
|Local Government||H.508||Amendments to the charter of the Town of Bennington|
|Local Government||H.547||Amendment to the charter of the City of Montpelier|
|Local Government||H.549||Dissolution of Rutland Fire District No. 10|
|Local Government||H.544||Amendments to the charter of the City of Burlington|
|Local Government||H.539||Amendments to charter of Town of Stowe and merger of Town and Stowe Fire District No. 3|
|Local Government||H.526||Town clerk recording fees and town restoration and preservation reserve funds|
|Local Government||H.59||Codification of charter of Rutland County Solid Waste District||M-2|
|Local Government||H.58||Amendments to charter of Town of Barre||M-1|
|Local Government||H.73||Amendments to charter of City of Barre||M-3|
|Local Government||H.540||Amendments to charter of Town of Williston|
|Miscellaneous||H.358||miscellaneous technical corrections||14|
|Racial, ethnic, social||S.68||Indigenous Peoples’ Day replaces Columbus Day||18|
|State Government||H.514||miscellaneous tax provisions|
|State Government||S.134||background investigations for State employees with access to federal tax information|
|State Government||H.16||boards and commissions|
|State Government||S.118||Time frame for adoption of administrative rules||12|
|State Government||H.146||Increasing number of examiners on Board of Bar Examiners from nine to 11 members||13|
|State Government||S.11||Limiting senatorial districts to a maximum of three members||2|
|State Government||H.543||Capital construction and State bonding|
|State Government||H.523||Miscellaneous changes to State’s retirement systems|
|State Government||H.541||Changes that affect revenue of State|
|State Government||H.532||Fiscal year 2019 budget adjustments||6|
|State Government||H.542||State budget|
|Technology||H.135||Authority of Agency of Digital Services|
|Technology||H.513||Broadband deployment throughout Vermont|
|Transportation||H.529||Transportation Program and miscellaneous changes|
|Transportation||S.149||Miscellaneous changes to laws related to vehicles and Department of Motor Vehicles|
|Veterans||S.111||U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry|
|Veterans||H.394||Disposition of the remains of veterans||9|
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.