Affordable Heating Act scheduled for committee vote this week

Universal school meals, paid family and medical leave, doctor-prescribed death expansion before committees this week

by Guy Page

By mid-February, many bills introduced in January are working their way through committees, and a few have been voted on by either House or Senate. Here’s an overview of bills Chronicle readers are watching.

H165, Universal School Meals, will be discussed this week in the House Agriculture Committee Tuesday afternoon. Supporters say free school meals for all students foster equity and better academic performance. Opponents say the once-federally funded program is too costly to Vermont taxpayers and that parents who are able should pay for their children’s meals. 

S5, officially called the Affordable Heating Act. The Senate Natural Resource and Energy Committee will continue taking testimony this week beginning Tuesday morning, and may vote on the bill later this week. Scheduled testimony includes lobbyist Matt Cota (in support of fuel dealers), Myers Mermel of the Ethan Allen Institute, and (to examine the highly criticized, perceived economic inequality), Jay Greene, Racial Equity Policy & Research Analyst, Office of Racial Equity.

H106, protecting public school teachers from any consequences for teaching Critical Race Theory – not scheduled for committee review this week. 

S57, giving municipalities power to restrict and limit firearms discharge at private shooting clubs – not scheduled for committee review this week.

S66, new requirements for independent schools receiving public tuition – an attempted work-around of a U.S. Supreme Court decision eliminating discrimination against religious schools. Not scheduled for committee review this week. 

H113, requiring churches report political activity to State of Vermont every year. Following a flurry of emails (many from Ignite Church in Williston), a member of the Ways & Means Committee emailed a VDC reader saying it is unlikely the bill will be taken up this session. 

H126, conserving 50% of total Vermont land area by 2050, will continue House Environment and Energy review Wednesday at 11 AM. Inspired by a U.N.-related program, this bill sponsored by Committee Chair Amy Sheldon has been discussed last year and much of this year. It was vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott last year. 

H66, Paid Family and Medical Leave – the House Housing General and Committee Tuesday morning will continue review of H66, universal paid family and medical leave. 

H190, expanding eligibility for assisted-suicide to non-Vermonters and relaxing other requirements, will be reviewed in House Human Services Tuesday afternoon. 

H40, penalties for nonconsentual removing of a contraception device (for one example, removing a condom), will be discussed in House Judiciary Wednesday morning. 

H148, raising the legal marriage age to 18, will be reviewed in House Judiciary Thursday afternoon. 

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Categories: Legislation

1 reply »

  1. Is the snow we are getting this morning contain remants of burned vinyl chloride? Clean fuel act seems foolish now when 25,000-33,000 gallons (per tank) of toxic waste went into the Ohio River, the tributaries, and the plume rising into the air in a giant mushroom cloud spreading across the Ohio River valley. Outrage anyone?

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