COMING AND GOING – Incoming House Appropriations Committee Chair Diane Lanpher (left) today prepares for the session beginning tomorrow, while Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and staff empty out her State House office for its next occupant, David Zuckerman. Chronicle photos.
By Guy Page
Tomorrow, Wednesday January 4, the first day of the 2023-24 Session of the Vermont Legislature, at least two important things will happen:
- Because about a third of all 180 lawmakers are newcomers, the official ‘seating’ of them will take longer than usual. The House of Representatives will be called to order at 10 AM.
- House and Senate leaders will release the names of every committees’ chair, vice-chair and members. Many committee chairs joined the exodus from the Legislature last year. New faces will abound in top leadership in both chambers.
On Thursday, January 5, most committees likely will meet for the first time. Governor Phil Scott will give his inaugural address at 2 pm. That’s not the same thing as his annual State of the State address before the Joint Assembly, which is still TBD on the Vermont Legislature’s website schedule.
Also on Thursday, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman will take his oath of office. He fills the seat vacated by Molly Gray, who lost in the Democratic primary for Congress to Sen. Becca Balint.
One new chair is already, albeit unofficially, known: Rep. Diane Lanpher (D-Vergennes) will move over from chairing Transportation to Appropriations, which was chaired last year by incoming Secretary of State Sarah Copeland-Hanzas. Lanpher was sitting at the head of the table in spacious Room 11 when Vermont Daily Chronicle walked into the otherwise empty room today, Tuesday January 3.
Rep. Lanpher spent the fall semester as a very busy substitute teacher at the Vergennes elementary school – which just happens to be where her grandchild is attending. She said she loved being back in the classroom. She said she had joked with Speaker Jill Krowinski that if she wasn’t re-elected, she would have happily returned to the life of an educator.
Masks and vaccination are not required for entrance into the State House. However, if masks are worn, the Sergeant-at-Arms office asks they be either N-95 or the blue surgical masks available at every entrance.
Although the gavel has yet to convene the House, already 10 bills have been introduced (click on the bill number for more information):
|H.10||Amending the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program|
|H.9||Motor vehicle inspections|
|H.8||Repealing the statute of limitations for civil actions based on childhood emotional abuse|
|H.7||Replacing the term “cider” with “hard cider” within Title 7|
|H.6||Development and subdivisions above 1,500 feet|
|H.5||Study on strengthening regional plans and their implementation|
|H.4||Removal of the pilings of Bridge 308|
|H.3||Grants for mental health providers working in collaboration with municipal police departments|
|H.2||Act 250 jurisdiction over aircraft hangars|
|H.1||An act relating to legislative oversight of payment reform and conflict-free case management for developmental disability services|