The Senate Economic Development Committee came back on Wednesday to review the House changes to S.100, which they did not yet possess, and the single House floor amendment that persisted with the bill (there were many other attempts to amend it).
The successful amendment (in two parts) came largely from the House Environment & Energy Committee. The first portion of the amendment adds clarity to the report the Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies is asked to produce by adding recommendations for creating more equitable and accessible public engagement processes around land-use policies. The second change was to add “other social determinants of health” to the scope of the study (others included housing, transportation, and climate resiliency).
Senator Wrenner exclaimed that this addition is going to be “wonderful.” Senator Clarkson added that this provision “is wide open.”
Clarkson indicated that the Committee wanted to concur with the House version of the bill, but she wanted a side-by-side from Legislative Counsel so they could “discuss quickly to Concur.”
As they discussed, there was some confusion about the new utility shut off language. Senator Cummings had asked for the Finance Committee to take more testimony this afternoon to make sure they were not disadvantaging tenants. Senator Brock added that the point “is to assure the right person is getting the notice.” The utility currently has to hand-deliver these notices and they are concerned about staff safety. He continued that there still needs to be assurances in place that the right person has in fact been notified.
The maximum allowable fees for Act 250 projects were also increased. No explanation was given but that was likely done to offset some of the exemptions that were added to the bill.
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