Bill Updates
  • H.703 Workforce Development: An updated fiscal note details the $41.9 million spending in the bill, which will be on the House floor for approval of amendment before advancing to the Senate. The bill contains investments in the CTE system, funding to retain healthcare workers, and incentives to attract new workers to move to Vermont.
  • H.492 Act 250 Governance: The House passed the proposal to move Act 250 appeals from the Environmental Court to the Natural Resources Board, replacing a well-defined legal process with a new board of review consisting of political appointees with limited legal training. Objections to the proposal raised on the House floor focused on the tight timeline to spend APRA dollars. With many housing and development projects that will likely need to go through the Act 250 process, some worry the disruption that a reconfiguration of Act 250 governance could cause would slow down the process of getting ARPA dollars spent. The bill now goes to the Senate.
  • S.113 Chemical Regulation: Following the Vermont Chamber’s testimony and recommendation on S.113, the House Judiciary Committee heard from the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) to address the Vermont Chamber’s concern as to whether or not insurance can be written or made available to manufacturers regarding medical monitoring claims for persons exposed to a proven toxic substance. DFR is neutral on the bill and did not provide the clarity needed, which will create uncertainty and put manufacturers at risk for additional costs and deter business recruitment.
  • S.269 Energy Savings Account: The House Energy and Technology Committee began taking testimony on S.269, a bill that would extend the Energy Savings Account Pilot Program for participating businesses. The original program had been impacted by a slow role out of programmatic guidelines and COVID-19 related delays. The pilot program is intended to see if greater energy savings can be found through large employers implementing their own efficiency projects with the funds their company would have otherwise paid into the Energy Efficiency charge.