Affordable Heating Act gets two-year checkback

S37 abortion/transgender bill changes admit some CPCs engage in fair advertising

By Guy Page

Two controversial, high-profile Senate bills – one on climate, the other on abortion/transgender services – were significantly amended and then approved by committees yesterday. 

S.5, the Affordable Heating Act that is the successor to last year’s vetoed Clean Heat Standard Bill, was approved by Senate Appropriations by a 4-3 vote. 

Among several amendments approved by Approps, the most sought after by critics was the ‘check back’ with one major change sought by its opponents, who say the plan is undeveloped, complex, and lacks clarity and transparency in its cost and manpower requirements. 

The proposed checkback two years from this January gives state energy experts time to develop needed information and the Legislature an affirmative responsibility to vote on a more clear path forward.

The amendment requires that by Jan. 15, 2025, the Public Utilities Commission “shall submit to the General Assembly final proposed rules to implement the Clean Heat Standard.” No rules may be enacted “until specific authorization is enacted by the General Assembly to do so.”

Approps added that the Clean Heat Standard “shall to the greatest extent possible maximize the use of available federal funds.” It also requires customer data protection and funding for data analysts to crunch the numbers on AHA timeframe and costs. 

“The checkback amendment that was approved in S5 by the Senate Appropriations Committee is a major and necessary improvement,” S.5 skeptic John Brabant of Vermonters for a Clean Environment said. “It just respects Vermonters and respects our institutions.”

Speaking of WVMT’s Morning Drive today, Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale (D-Chittenden) said the amendment makes S.5 a two year study bill.

S.5 now goes to the Senate floor. The bill faces possible changes in the House if it is approved by the Senate. 

Crisis Pregnancy Center ‘false advertising’ language softened – a bill that shields abortion and transgender service providers from any legal challenges and also empowers the State to subpoena and investigate pro-life crisis pregnancy centers had language on the latter softened by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. 

The amended version of S37 was approved yesterday. The new language can be seen in today’s Senate Calendar.

Unlike S37 as introduced, the approved amendment concedes some Vermont CPCs “openly acknowledge in their advertising, on their websites, and at their facilities, that they neither provide abortions nor refer clients to other providers of abortion services.” It also “respects the right of limited-service pregnancy centers to counsel individual against abortion, and nothing in this subchapter sahould be construed to regulate, limit or curtail such advocacy.” However, the bill maintains that the Attorney General may take aggressive action if a CPC allegedly engages in false advertising.

Categories: Legislation

8 replies »

  1. That’s better, but what about any clinic, i.e. abortion, etc. engaging in false advertising about what they offer.

  2. while not yet a complete victory for life, the language is indeed a shift in the senate and an opening for more prayer and opportunity to speak life into the chamber. God is not to be mocked and this is HIS light shining in to such a dark space. Glory to God !!! everywhere light is, darkness can not exist.

  3. Does Bill S 37 provide for the Attorney General to take aggressive action against abortion providers who claim they provide Women’s Health care ?
    Blatantly false advertising.

  4. Just leave it alone, VT existed fine for decades without this bill and will exist many more better without it. Or , I will be long gone by the time it comes up again.

  5. S.5 is still the Unaffordable heat act, in 2023 or 2025. The convoluted “rules” are for those proficient in legalese and environmental engineering, not the manager of your local heating fuel supplier. In the amendment, we are required to increase funding in FY 2024 from 1.2 to 1.75 million dollars, to hire additional lawyers and analysts that can gaslight the Public Utilities Commission and the public. (source is Vermont Senate Calendar, pg.131) Surely, bray, hardy, macdonald and company hope the amendment proposed will quiet us ignorant critics for a while- and the bill can pass the senate and house.
    S.5 still requires a veto from phil scott- as this amendment just “kicks the can” to the next biennium (with the added threat of lawsuits, as part of the GWSA) S.5 does not reduce the CO2 emissions required for heating, it merely shifts the origination of those CO2 molecules to another state or country- While increasing the costs for heating for all. Especially the poor and “marginalized” in Vermont.
    Just more pretending and gaslighting.

    • Regarding S.37 I found during Biden ‘s February 7 State of the Union Address above reproach for the population of Democratic Senators and Representatives to remove their flag pin, and replace it with AB♥️RTION pin on their lapel. The O in abortion is a heart. The Democratic legislation in a moment declared they LOVE ABORTION, and no longer love the USA. To love a medical procedure, REALLY ! What other medical procedure will our Democratic legislation wish to declare they love more that the USA ? Let’s be honest, the Democratic legislation as a sitting body declared to the world they love human sacrifice manifested in baby sacrifice. A ritual of demonic worship to Baal.

      • Absolute truth rvanornu, but it isn’t just the Democrats. 24 VT ” Republican ” State Representatives voted to protect anyone involved with abortion to the moment of Birth and the sexual, chemical, physical and psychological mutilation of children.
        They aren’t alone. Phil Scott, Joe Benning and other VTGOP members voted for this and support it. Satan’s pawns, and moloch is smiling.
        Total betrayal of VT Conservatives.
        Not a word from VTGOP Chair Dame or Rules Committee Chair Koch.
        The death of the Republican Party in VT, brought to you by those pretending to care.

  6. I will only support this when planned parenthood gets renamed as planned baby killers