Legislation

Gun control, vax refusal, race-based bills among Top 10

By Guy Page

This week, lawmakers are Town Meeting break. Taking advantage of the respite, Vermont Daily looks back at the most-read, most-commented-on news stories from the 2021 Legislature.

#1 – January 29 – “It must be nice to have guards” – S.30, gun carry ban

Sen. Phil Baruth and other gun controllers want to ban carrying guns in most public places. Gun rights advocates argue the need for self-defense and the defense of others – and point out that, unlike the State House, most workplaces aren’t protected by armed security.

#2 – Feb. 19 – Vax refusal bill introduced – H283

With mass vaccination held out as the only resolution to onerous work and travel restrictions, opponents of mandatory immunization are concerned that state government will allow or even require discrimination against people who won’t accept the vaccine. H283 faces an uphill battle, to say the least. But Gov. Scott said it’s a discussion that needs to be had at the state and national level. 

#3 – January 7 – New House bills eliminate vax parental consent, allow silencers on hunting rifles, change Town Meeting voting

This story highlighted the first bills introduced into the 2021 legislature, including another erosion of parental rights in youth childcare, and letting towns convert Town Meeting into vote-by-mail. 

#4 – January 28 – Proposal would tax haircuts, private school education – almost everything

Rather than raise the sales tax, why not tax (almost) everything at a lower rate? Critics say it would be a paperwork nightmare and every year would tempt lawmakers to solve the annual financial financial crisis by raising this tax just a little bit. In a few years, Vermonters could find themselves paying 6% on almost everything, with the baby-chick Legislature crying for more, more, more. 

#5 – February 19 – Lawmakers claim $218K in at-home expenses 

Stay-at-home lawmakers can’t claim travel and meals expenses anymore. Happily for them, a $75/day at-home expense supplements some of that lost expense income. But some readers are not happy with our representatives getting an extra $75 for….what, exactly?

#6 – February 8 – Senate bills: expel cops from schools, not law-breakers

Some Democratic senators say the solution to violent crime in schools isn’t expulsion or suspension, it’s getting rid of school police, AKA “school resource officers.” Some Republicans from Rutland County – home of Fair Haven Union High School, where a mass shooting was averted with the help of another school’s SRO – push back with a bill to protect and expand funding for SROs.

#7 – January 15 – Why I (alone) voted no on the Trump resolution

Newly-elected Sen. Russ Ingalls (R-Essex Orleans) is thrown into the deep water of controversy right away. He’s only senator to vote against a condemnation of President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot. 

#8 – February 18 – Legalized prostitution ‘study’ bill returns

Legalizing prostitution will atone for a century of repressive, racist legislation aimed at preventing black men from having sex with white women. Or so a new bill says. 

#9 – January 26 – $78 million in new carbon reduction taxes proposed 

The Public Utilities Commission asks the Legislature to tax, tax, tax its way to meeting its carbon reduction mandates. 

#10 – January 21 – Only fly US, VT flag at school

Old Glory yes, BLM (etc.) no. This bill doesn’t mention BLM by name, but it doesn’t have to. It wouldn’t exist if some lawmakers weren’t unhappy with BLM advocates pushing flag-flying at school districts across Vermont. 

3 replies »

  1. Any Gun control in Vermont is not needed,and we are protected by the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution,and Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution! VAX refusal is very necessary because we are a free people! Anything from the unelected 23 member committee from the GWSA is unconstitutional for it is not anything Vermonters need or want,including a carbon tax that is a slap in the face of Vermonters! The bill from Brian Smith to fly only the American flag and State flag is about the only bright spot from our legislators! I would ask our legislators to bring up needed legislation to help Vermonters without more burdensome regulations,taxes,damage to farms,households,restaurants,schools,murder of the unborn,voting fraud, and arrogance that they are doing the right thing!

  2. Freedom? Let’s see, you want the freedom to not be vaccinated, but you don’t want your school boards to have the freedom to fly flags that speak to their needs? You want the freedom for all guns, but no freedom for women’s reproductive systems. This isn’t freedom. This is using ‘freedom’ as a code word for fighting culture wars (that were lost a long time ago).

    • Jodi, I didn’t say SBs shouldn’t be free to choose that. I said it is unwise for them to choose that because of the reasons stated. Like most conservatives I prefer conversation over cancellation. Big difference between the two. Love the comments, keep ’em comin’

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