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Author Topic: News from Montpelier 2018 week 6  (Read 357 times)
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« on: February 09, 2018, 03:31:02 PM »

The week began with animated floor action on H. 562, an act relating to parentage proceedings. Half a dozen amendments were proposed on this repeal of Vermont’s parentage laws. It replaces existing law with a more comprehensive parentage title that includes de facto parentage, genetic parentage, parentage by assisted reproductive technology and parentage by gestational carrier agreement. An amendment that required the destruction of a genetic specimen taken for determining parentage struck a note with House members. Despite a unanimous vote against the amendment in committee, the roll call vote narrowly defeated it 70 to 73. The language included in the amendment may be considered in the Senate if they continue action on the bill.
Rep. Quimby of Concord joined me in sponsoring an amendment to H. 799, notice of sale of property subject to unpaid taxes. We traded on our expertise as past Postal Employees to substitute “certified” for “registered” to save over $8 per letter sent out to a delinquent taxpayer. This amendment was accepted favorably by the Judiciary committee and passed by the House.
The Transportation committee divided its attention between H. 237, an act relating to saliva testing and the T-bill, an act relating to the Transportation Program and miscellaneous changes to transportation-related law. Legislative council for the transportation committee offered an overall walk through of the changes to transportation-related law. Throughout the week testimony was taken in committee on sections dealing with topics such as Federal Infrastructure funding, the Central Garage fund, abandoned aircraft, Historic Site Supplemental Guide signs, Construction contract bonds, and electric vehicle charging. Electric vehicle charging brings the concern of how to equitably collect tax monies on a car’s kWh used instead of gallons of gasoline. The committee heard from analysts from AOT as well as the Department of Public Service on the need to adjust language to permit the sale and tax of electricity similar to gas at stations.
A final draft of H. 237 was voted out of Committee. It permits both preliminary screening and evidentiary testing of saliva in a manner that mirrors the breath and blood tests for detection of alcohol in operators of vehicles who law enforcement has reasonable grounds to believe is under the influence of a drug other than alcohol.
Friday brought the annual recognition of the Boy Scouts who have achieved Eagle Rank to the House Floor. The Scouts provided a Color Guard to open the proceedings and led the House Members in the Pledge of Allegiance which followed the singing of the National anthem as the morning’s devotion. Three Fairfax Scouts were listed as 2017 Eagle Scouts, Alexandre Hamel, Michael Kirkpatrick and David Shea. Another group of deserving youth was recognized on the floor as the Speaker addressed the graduating class of State House Pages. The first third of Session has passed and next week will bring a new group of 8th graders to serve as Pages in the People’s House.
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