On Tuesday, the House General and Housing Committee did a walk through of H.276 with Legislative Counsel. The bill essentially requires landlords provide identifying information on the owner, landlord, property manager and other identifying information about the unit, location of the unit, and construction of the unit by March of next year.Read more
The House Environment & Committee returned on Friday morning to hear from TJ Poor (Director of Planning, Department of Public Service). He was following up on a question from his last time in the Committee regarding the Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP). The CEP actually calls for a full evaluation of the Clean Heat Standard (CHS) in terms of cost, societal impact, and equity. This didn’t happen in the Climate Action Plan (CAP) process due to the tight timelines.Read more
Christina Sivret presentation for the Vermont Ethics Commission budget to Senate Appropriations on Friday. The total budget came up to $190K, which includes two half-time personnel, plus a contractor. The Committee asked Sivret a number of questions, but they were very receptive to the presentation.
She was able to present all her hopes relative to enforcement of the Code of Ethics and candidate disclosure requirements now being proposed to be added to H.429. She also spoke about the required training and the support they offer public officials through advisory letters.Read more
Anne Sosin (Interim Director, Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition) spoke to the House General & Housing Committee on Thursday about Housing and Homelessness. She cast homelessness as a housing problem and a "policy choice," reiterating that they are "aligned" with other advocates supporting the S.100 housing bill.Read more
On Friday, Doug Hoffer (State Auditor) shared a presentation with the Senate Finance Committee regarding universal broadband in Vermont. He wanted to examine some “risks” at this stage, after nearly twenty years of talking about this. Even with a “river of money” from the Federal government, he anticipates the Communication Union Districts (CUDs) are going to be asking for “a couple of hundred million dollars more.”Read more
The Senate Government Operations Committee resumed testimony on H.429 on Friday with Betty Keller (Member, Vermont League of Women Voters) who promoted Ranked Choice Voting as a solution to the “sore loser” issue this bill was trying to address. The Vermont League of Women Voters (LWV-VT) opposes the first two sections of the bill, which deal with the “sore loser” candidates. The legislature should not be limiting choices in the general election, she argued.Read more
The House took up a bill, H.492, on the floor Thursday that sets the statewide yields which determines local property tax rates. The average rate would decrease in FY2024, but much of that decrease will be “masked” by the Common Level of Appraisal (the leveling mechanism to account for disparities between when towns last did an appraisal) and school district spending.Read more