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Author Topic: News from Montpelier 2019 week 17  (Read 771 times)
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« on: May 10, 2019, 04:18:04 PM »

The devotion Friday morning was given by Representative Kimbell in honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday. He highlighted the plaque for Mother of the Year which hangs in the State House. His mother is among the recipients for the year 1990 and the past Representative from Georgia, Carolyn Branagan was the 2010 recipient. Wednesday afternoon the State House provided a great vantage point for viewing the All State parade. It was wonderful to cheer on the members of the BFA marching band and offer a hearty congratulations to all the participants.
Floor action has been a mix of voting to concur with or without amendments to bills sent over from the Senate and on the appointments to Committees of Conference. H. 529, the T-Bill has been sent to a conference committee due to irreconcilable differences between the House and Senate versions. Three members of each chamber’s Transportation committees will produce the final version that is then offered for a final vote of yes or no by the respective Chambers.
Tuesday the House listened to the report from the committee on Human Services on proposed amendment to the Vermont constitution, proposal #5. If it passes all future votes it will be added as Article 22.  Personal reproductive liberty: “That the people are guaranteed the liberty and dignity to determine their own life’s course. The right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty protected by this Constitution and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.” The adoption of the proposal was decided by Roll Call with 106 yeas and 38 nays and will be up in both Chambers again in the 2021-2022 biennium. H. 57, an act relating to preserving the right to abortion was passed as amended by the Senate on a voice vote Friday.
Thursday floor time was taken up by long debate on S. 113, an act relating to the management of single-use products (plastics) and S. 96, an act relating to the provision of water quality services. Concern for what bags could be provided and where as specified by the bill was debated including the removal of an exemption that had permitted dry cleaning establishments use of plastic on cleaned items. The concerns raised by the clean water bill focused on the funding sources being specified. S. 96 reallocates four percent of the twenty five percent of the Meals and Rooms Tax allocated to the Education fund last session over to the Clean Water Fund. Arguments were presented that this is an attack on the integrity of the Education Fund. Other fund sources were identified that make the Education Fund whole but there was concern that a precedence was being set. Both bills were passed by Roll Call with the vote being 120 yeas to 24 nays on S. 113 and 124 ayes to 14 nays on S. 96.
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