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Author Topic: News from Montpelier 2019 week 9  (Read 794 times)
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« on: March 15, 2019, 02:48:03 pm »

The atmosphere has been reminiscent of the Finals cram between Thanksgiving and Christmas break. Today is Crossover, the deadline that has loomed large and committees have kept the Legislative support personnel working round the clock. The House Committee on Transportation voted the T-Bill out of committee unanimously just after noon on Friday.
The discussions on several sections were at times extended and heated over the weeks of the bills development, but the result is a piece of legislation that can be put forward with consensus from the committee. The Bill provides funding for State Aid for Town Highways above the statutory amount and allows municipalities to use these funds for sidewalks as well as the other uses currently identified in State Statute.
Provisions in the T-Bill include a definition for Electric Vehicle, it addresses an incentive program at the point of purchase for income eligible buyers and supports utility companies making provisions for home charger installations. A final solution for the application of a fuel tax on non-gas-powered vehicles was not determined but language is included that will allow the State to charge appropriate fees at EV charging stations owned or controlled by the State for three years at which point the intent is to have better information on what would be appropriate.
The Agency of Transportation is directed to study methods to increase use of and access to public transit options in Vermont as a component in achieving the Stateís environmental goals. Other changes include amending State Statute to include expanding public transit service in rural areas in the policy goals for the Agency to consider as it allocates funds to public transit.
H. 514, an act relating to miscellaneous tax provisions was presented on the House floor Friday. Much of this bill was passed by both the House and Senate last year as H. 922 which was left behind in the Special Session. Included is language that carries the intent of H. 586 of Session 2017-18 exempting municipal non-profit fire departmentís fund-raising efforts from the purchase and use tax for up to two off site events per year. This would allow the Fairfax Fire Departmentís Calcutta to be exempt from the >$250 bill paid last year. Franklin county Senator Brock will be able to address this bill as a member of the Senate Finance committee and has been asked to provide support for it.
Please continue to contact me at bmurphy@leg.state.vt.us or 802-849-6545 or through the Sergeant at Arms office.
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