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Author Topic: News from Montpelier week 14 (2017)  (Read 645 times)
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« on: April 14, 2017, 01:31:01 PM »

The Statehouse lawn was filled with enthusiastic young Vermonters midweek. It was reported that more than 1500 youth were here Wednesday for Youth Rally for the Planet.  Fairfax residents were present to participate in the Rally as well as for the annual Senior Social Studies tour. Both Wednesday and Thursday the students and their teachers sat in committee rooms to listen to testimony and spoke individually to law makers on bills they have researched. The students are highly regarded and represent Fairfax well.

Tuesday the Transportation committee was off site to tour a few rail projects and the newly opened Transit center in Burlington. The Shelburne salt shed will provide salt for the northern half of the state’s roads and when finished will store twice the amount of the previous site. The salt is brought in by rail and stored for transfer to the municipalities and district garages by covered trucks.  The second stop for the tour was in Middlebury where two bridges are slated for replacement. The condition of the bridges is of such deterioration that emergency temporary replacements have been approved. The whole project will take several years but once complete is going to be much improved.

The House responded to the Governor’s executive order to merge two agencies, Lottery and Liquor, with resolution HR 14. The resolution caused great discussion and debate on the floor. In the end the vote supported the resolution and denied the merger until a study can be performed. There is word that the Senate may still be able to forward the merger as the executive order directed. Other bills that generated discussion and roll call votes on the floor were H523, H492 and H197. The first two both address fair and impartial policing and a racial justice board while the last is mental parity for workers’ compensation.

Transportation finished the week with final adjustments to S127, an act relating to miscellaneous changes to laws related to vehicles and vessels. Sections of the prior safety bill, H511 were added to ensure that they were considered in this year. That whole bill has been consigned to Senate judiciary and appears to have stalled for now. Session is truly moving to an ending point. Bills are being concurred with or sent to a committee of conference and the Senate morning committees are shut down, all signs the end is near.
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