The Senate took up H.125 on the floor Wednesday, which deals with a number of different boards and commissions. Notably, the bill would repeal the Clean Energy Development Board and limit the authority of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority.
It also repeals the Government Accountability Committee and makes the Vermont Pension Investment Commission (VPIC)more independent from the State Treasurer.
As currently written, the bill would repeal eleven different boards and commissions and will amend one commission’s provisions.
The Government Operations Committee recommended a strike-all amendment that the summer government accountability committee consider accountability in the legislative branch, including the following:
- Ways to ensure that the legislative branch is accountable to the people of Vermont by creating new processes and metrics by which to measure accountability.
- Ways to ensure equity in pay across commissions, boards, and joint legislative committees based on the nature of the service and required skill level.
- Ways to ensure equitable participation on boards and commissions and in any public engagement process by providing appropriate compensation and material support.
- Codifying mechanisms for controlling and restraining the increasing number of commissions, boards and joint legislative committees.
With regard to the VPIC language was changed to further separate it from the State Treasurer's office and established per diem compensation.
Several other sections focused on technical changes to the Commission on Women and local organizations for emergency management.
A section was added asking that the Vermont Ethics Commission provide recommendations next year for creating a framework for municipal ethics in Vermont. The language includes ability for the Commission to work with any person or organization the Commission deems necessary, including the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
The Senate voted in favor of the bill as amended.
The House concurred with the Senate's version on Thursday and the bill will be sent to the Governor for signature.