Oversight of Independent Schools (H.483) - April 21, 2023
On Friday, Oliver Olsen (Former Chair, State Board of Education) joined the Senate Education Committee to speak on H.483 as a parent, former legislator, and community member from Southern Vermont. During his tenure, he oversaw the “significant effort” of updating the rules governing the approval of independent schools.Read more
Next Steps on Ethics (H.125) - April 20, 2023
Christina Sivret (Executive Director, Vermont Ethics Commission) joined the Senate Government Operations Committee to discuss a provision they wanted added to H.125. The underlying bill delt with boards and Commissions, but the Committee had previously indicated that this was a good vehicle for the language she was looking for.Read more
Responsibilities of the Department of Health Access (H.206) - April 20, 2023
The Senate Health and Welfare Committee heard testimonies on Thursday from various entities concerning H.206. The bill relates to the duties of the Department Vermont Health Access (DVHA), which was initially created in the House Health Care Committee back in February. Subsequently, reviewed by the House Appropriations Committee and then passed House sent to the Senate.Read more
Oversight Independent of Schools (H.483) - April 20, 2023
On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee heard from Heather Bouchey (Interim Secretary, Agency of Education) and Chris Kane (Interim State Director of Special Education, Agency of Education) on H.483. Bouchey stressed the nature of public process and 2200 rulemaking stakeholder engagement. She believed this needed to be “implemented and experienced” as independent schools engage with that newly developed process.Read more
Divestment of State Pension Funds (S.42) - April 19, 2023
Bill McKibben from Third Act joined the House Government Operations Committee on Wednesday to discuss S.42. He noted divestment started here in Vermont years ago. Third Act was founded by McKibben, who wrote the "original book" about global warming. In LA Times and companies knew, all the way back in the 1980s, about the impact of fossil fuels and "lied about what fossil fuels can do to the environment," he claimed.Read more
Oversight Independent of Schools (H.483) - April 19, 2023
Chairman Campion welcomed Jay Badams (Superintendent, Norwich/Hanover Interstate School District ) to the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, saying they wanted to know about the “whether there is ever any admissions process in our public schools.” He described H.483 as asking for “a kind of open enrollment where public dollars follow kids to whatever school they want.” He added that he thinks that is happening now in a lot of schools.Read more
Workforce Development (H.494) - April 18, 2023
Legislative Counsel reviewed H.494 for the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday. The bill had already passed the house and the much of the discussion was focused on the forgivable loan incentive programs (subsection 6)Read more
Clean Heat Standard (S.5) - April 18, 2023
On Tuesday, Representative Sibilia gave the Committee the history leading up to the S.5.
- In 2016, Governor Scott joined other states in committing Vermont to meeting goals of the Paris Climate Accords.
- In 2020, Vermont passed Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The GWSA sets the mandates for greenhouse gas reductions, established the Climate Council to come up with the Climate Action Plan (CAP). The Clean Heat Standard (CHS) is the primary thermal sector solution for the CAP.
Sibilia claimed that Vermonters wanted them to act on climate, citing a poll that says 76% support climate action.Read more
State Colleges Transformation Plan
The Senate Education Committee were joined on Tuesday by representatives from the Vermont State Colleges to discuss their Transformation Plan. Chairman Campion invited Chancellor Zdatny to outline for the Committee what the colleges will look like going forward, noting that "there is a lot of competition out there." Specifically, he pointed to Southern New Hampshire University as a competitor.Read more
IT Modernization Fund
On Tuesday, the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) gave the Senate Finance Committee an overview of the IT Modernization Fund, which has historically been supported by an internal service charge (a fee charged to each agency of department based on their overall budget). The Governor’s budget this year recommended that it be its own line item in the budgets for each fund (General Fund, Education Fund, Transportation Fund, etc.) in order to be more transparent.Read more