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Author Topic: News from Montpelier (2017) week 16  (Read 647 times)
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« on: April 28, 2017, 04:31:50 PM »

As of Thursday, thirty three bills had passed both houses and were ready for the Governor to respond. The House continues to pass several motions to suspend the rules and speed action on bills, while also requesting delay of a Legislative day on others. This is all done to allow committees the flexibility of amending bills in such a way that “must pass” action makes it to the finish line.
Friday the House spent a great deal of time debating and recording roll call votes on H513, an act making miscellaneous changes to education law. The amendments that passed allow much of the language of S122, an act relating to increased flexibility for school district mergers and S130,  an act relating to miscellaneous changes to education law be incorporated into the bill, as it more than likely heads to a Committee of Conference.
H494 and S127 are the two Transportation bills that are making it to the end. The committee of conference has completed its work on H494 and the House members for the conference committee for S127 have yet to be appointed. On Tuesday the committee took testimony for two amendments being offered on S127. The members supported the recommendation of the committee that one amendment not be permitted and the other was withdrawn. The one that was brought to the floor would have allowed law enforcement to assess two points against the driving record of a motor vehicle operator driving without the use of safety belts. The committee offered the concern that the discussion required more attention than a floor amendment could provide. That can occur next year if a bill with similar intent is offered. Wednesday, the Transportation committee took testimony on the capital bill and the areas within it of clean water support available to municipalities. Other than information on the final decision of the conference committees, the Transportation committee will have very little on its agenda next week.
The diminishment of committee work allows for additional time to remain alert to the morphing of bills as described in Friday’s action on H513.
The schedule next week is set for a 1 PM floor time for the House on Monday, 9:30 AM Tues thru Fri and 10AM on Saturday the 6th. With that schedule, the goal of completing the initial work of the biennium may be accomplished one week short of the budgeted 18 weeks. Please continue to contact me at bmurphy@leg.state.vt.us, 802-849-6545, or by mail at 7 Lily Rd. The Sergeant at Arms office in the State House will pass on queries as well.
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