Vote explained on criminal threatening, qualified immunity, Burlington evictions, end-of-life drug changes

by Rep. Samantha Lefebvre

Rep. Samantha Lefebvre (R-Orange) writes a weekly update of bills that passed her committee (Government Operations) and the full House. Below is her succinct report of legislation that passed the House last week, and how she voted, and why.

S.72 (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) Passed, unanimously

S.265 (expanding criminal threatening to include threats to third persons) Roll Call vote of 91-48 I voted NO. I do not believe that someone who asks to be in the position that they are in should be treated any differently than our neighbors, friends, and relatives. Just in the time that I have been a Legislator I have encountered some very unpleasant times, I have been threatened, called names, and had very untrue things said about me. With all that said, I asked to come here, I asked to represent the six beautiful towns that I do and with that comes opinions. There is already state law that prevents threatening, I do not believe that I should be treated any differently that those who are not in my position.

Rep. Samantha Lefebvre

H.741 (City of St. Albans charter amendments) Passed, unanimously

S.171 (adopting a State code of ethics) Passed, unanimously

S.74 (modifications to patient choice at end of life) Passed, by a voice vote. I do not support this bill. There was an amendment that was offered from the Rep. from Northfield that I found favorably that added the language that a medical professional would have had to be present with the patient at some point during the journey of acquiring the medication. The amendment was not found favorable and did not pass. When speaking to constituents about this bill many were concerned that this was taking away some forms of safeguards for assuring that the medication that was being requested was from a patient in their own free will. Moving the process to tele-medicine only gave me enough pause to not give it my vote.

S.247 (prohibiting discrimination based on genetic information) Action on this bill was postponed until 04/21/2022

S.254 (recovering damages for Article 11 violations by law enforcement and a report on qualified immunity) Passed with a roll call vote of 95 yeas, 40 nays. I voted no. I as a legislator have qualified immunity, correctional officers, mayors, governors, medical board inspectors, school administrators, IRS agents, and the list goes for who also has qualified immunity. The message that is being sent to our police officers, who are already struggling with other work stressors to even keep staffing numbers appropriate is shameful. I understand that there are some officers that do not do the right thing, they should face the penalties and punishments that are outlined in statute and their wrong doings shouldn’t have to be carried by those that go to work everyday to do the right thing. We ask law enforcement to make life saving decisions in seconds and to come to our aide when we need them the most. I cannot support reducing protections for one group of workers that so many others get to keep.

S.163 (State court petitions for vulnerable noncitizen youth) Passed, unanimously

H.461 (excluding income of asylum seekers and refugees from household income):  Vote on the Senate proposal of amendment, Passed, unanimously

H.629 (access to adoption records):  Vote on the Senate proposal of amendment, Passed, unanimously

H.708 (City of Burlington charter amendment – just cause eviction):  Vote on the Senate proposal of amendment Passed, I voted no. This bill was voted out of my committee 8-3-0. It was brought back to us from the Senate with the change of a probationary period moving from 1 year to “reasonable amount of time”. The amount of time was not defined as that will be up to the City Council to determine and set. From prior conversations with others who raised some concerns around this matter, will the determined amount of time that is set by the Council make it so that leases are shorter, to be able to fall under the probationary period? Will this unintentionally create more of an unreliable housing arrangement for some?

J.R.H.20 (authorizing remote participation in joint committees in ‘22 via ADA) Passed by voice vote. I was a yes. While I am nervous that we are going to get more relaxed on in person participation I do believe that we should be complying and support those with disabilities to be able to serve in our government.

H.R.22 (authorizing remote participation in House sessions and committees in ’22 via ADA) Passed by voice vote. I was a yes. While I am nervous that we are going to get more relaxed on in person participation I do believe that we should be complying and support those with disabilities to be able to serve in our government.

Categories: Legislation

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  1. I understand that recent fentanyl deaths in the US have surpassed the annual combined gun deaths and suicide deaths. If only we could focus on the important things!