Big problems loom for legislature this week

Legislature gets updates, seeks solutions for milk dumping, education revenue shortfall, prison reform

By Guy Page

April 13, 2020 – Vermont farmers are dumping milk while shoppers worry about food supply. The tug and war over “compassionate release” of inmates from Vermont prisons continues. Should evictions and foreclosures be postponed? Are Vermont minorities being adversely impacted by Covid-19? Vermont school districts are in a bind because it’s hard to schedule revotes on failed school budgets, and the state education fund is at least $40 million in the hole after every surplus and rainy day dollar has been spent. 

To see the committee meetings recorded on Zoom and available on YouTube, click on the committee name below. Click here for weekly schedule of all committee meetings

HOUSE

Agriculture& Forestry

Tuesday: Dairy supply and distribution, Food systems, farmers markets

Friday: Committee Discussion

Appropriations

Wednesday: Covid-19 unemployment

Commerce & Economic Development

Thursday: Meeting with industry groups about their issues and needs

Corrections & Institutions

Tuesday & Thursday: S338 justice reinvestment (probation & parole for inmates)

Education

Tuesday: Covid-19 response: Mental Health

Friday: School district budgets, possible Act 173 (Special Ed) delay

Energy & Technology

Tuesday: Covid-19 committee discussion

Wednesday: committee meeting

General, Housing, & Military Affairs

Tuesday: S333 – moratorium on evictions, foreclosure during state of emergency

Government Operations

Wednesday: remote notarizations, elections contengency planning

Thursday: Covid-19 response legislation

Health Care

Tuesday: H742 – VT response to Covid-19

Wednesday: Diversity & equity issues

Thursday: Covid-19 response – update on federal funds, community hospitals

Human Services

Tuesday: foster care, family visitation

Wednesday: economic services

Thursday: home care workers

Judiciary

Agenda not published

Natural Resources, Fish, & Wildlife

Agenda not published

Transportation

Wednesday: H942, Transportation Bill. Covid-19 discussion.

Ways & Means

Wednesday: committee discussion

Friday: School district budgets

SENATE

Agriculture

Thursday: C-19 response committee discussion

Appropriations

Agenda not published

Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs

Tuesday:  C-19 response – state, federal housing programs and assistance. 

Wednesday: C-19 response – workers compensation

Education

Tuesday: Act 173 delay, default educational budget, higher ed projections & needs

Thursday: TBD

Finance

Tuesday – C19 response – treasurer’s report, short-term borrowing, local government issues

Thursday – education financing

Government Operations

Tuesday – property taxes

Thursday – funds affecting municipalities, EMS, law enforcement

Friday – DPS update, posting notices

Health & Welfare

Tuesday: C19 response – foster care implications, H742 

Wednesday: Medication, pharmaceutical issues, diversity and equity issues

Thursday: update on federal funds, community hospitals

Friday: Broadband & internet issues

Institutions

Agenda not published

Judiciary

Wednesday: public safety update, corrections update, foster care/visitations update, judicial confirmations, offender release during emergency, sunset of Racial Disparities Act, Justice Reinvestment II

Natural Resources & Energy

Agenda not published

Transportation

Agenda not published

Vermont farmers in 1986 dumping milk due to oversupply. Photo credit Ruralvermont.org.