Week 17 Voting Record

Monday, May 1 — View full Journal

  • H.154 – An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the City of Burlington
    • I voted to support this municipal charter bill through the third stage of passage (final approval). The bill received unanimous support.
  • H.241 – An act relating to the charter of the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District
    • I voted to support this municipal charter bill through the third stage of passage (final approval). The bill received unanimous support.
  • H.522 – An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the City of Burlington
    • I voted to support this municipal charter bill through the third stage of passage (final approval). The bill received unanimous support.
  • S.61 – An act relating to offenders with mental illness
    • I voted to support this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval) to clarify how offenders with mental illness are treated in our justice system. The bill received unanimous support.
  • S.134 – An act relating to court diversions and pretrial services
    • I voted to support this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval) to clarify how our diversion laws work. This is an important piece of criminal justice reform. The bill received unanimous support.
  • S.8 – An act relating to establishing the State Ethics Commission and standards of governmental ethical conduct
    • I voted to support this bill to enact a more transparent and accountable structure to hold elected officials accountable. I believe it is necessary and appropriate to create an Ethics Commission to review the conduct of elected officials. Prior to passage, I supported an amendment to ensure that the employer/entity for which political spouses derive income be disclosed publicly. This proposal is important so Vermonters can know from whom legislators, or other elected officials, take money. The bill received mixed support on a voice vote.
  • S.16 – An act relating to expanding patient access to the Medical Marijuana Registry
    • **I was off the floor in a meeting when this vote took place.
  • S.33 – An act relating to the Rozo McLaughlin Farm-to-School Program
    • **I was off the floor in a meeting when this vote took place.
  • S.112 – An act relating to creating the Spousal Support and Maintenance Task Force
    • **I was off the floor in a meeting when this vote took place.
  • S.122 – An act relating to increased flexibility for school district mergers
    • **I was off the floor in a meeting when this vote took place.
  • J.R.S 18 – A joint resolution in support of combatting the rise in hate crimes and bigotry
    • I voted to support this resolution to call attention to the plight of those who are subject to bigotry. We must stand united against those who preach hatred. The resolution passed by a vote of 134-7.
  • S.136 – An act relating to miscellaneous consumer protection provisions
    • I voted to support this bill through the second stage of passage (preliminary approval). This package of consumer protection proposals was designed to help consumers and citizens as new technologies and activities emerge. The bill passed by a unanimous vote.
  • H.515 – An act relating to executive branch and judiciary fees
    • **I was off the floor in a meeting when this vote took place.

Tuesday, May 2 — View full Journal

  • S.16 – An act relating to expanding patient access to the Medical Marijuana Registry
    •  I voted to support expanding the qualifying conditions so patients can access medical marijuana. Folks who experience chronic pain should have treatment options to address pain or an illness. I trust that medical professionals will manage the care options for patients. This allows more options to treat a condition. Prior to passage, an amendment was offered to clarify the standing of domestic partners in treatment options. I voted yes. The bill was adopted by a vote of 130-16.
  • S.136 – An act relating to miscellaneous consumer protection provisions
    •  I voted to support this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval). Prior to passage, several small amendments were made. The bill passed by a unanimous vote.
  • H.196 – An act relating to paid family leave
    •  I voted to support this bill to give working Vermonters a mechanism to contribute to a system to provide leave in the event an unexpected or unfortunate life event conflicts with their ability to work. When I was out knocking on doors last year, I encountered many younger and working-age residents who expressed support of this proposal. I share their belief that a paid family insurance program will attract and retain workers. At a time when our demographics require new workers and working-age residents in Vermont, we must provide systems to empower their continued, productive participation in the workforce. Prior to passage, I voted against an amendment to change the program to an opt-in approach. The opt-in amendment failed 88-57. I also voted against a member’s effort to refer the bill to the Ways and Means Committee, as the member’s line of argument unfairly attached the independent Joint Fiscal Office’s staff’s fiscal analysis.
  • J.R.S 18 – A joint resolution in support of combatting the rise in hate crimes and bigotry
    •  I voted to pass this resolution for the reasons indicated above (see May 1).
  • S.112 – An act relating to creating the Spousal Support and Maintenance Task Force
    •  I voted to support this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval). The measure passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.33 – An act relating to the Rozo McLaughlin Farm-to-School Program
    •  I voted to support this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval). The measure passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.8 – An act relating to establishing the State Ethics Commission and standards of governmental ethical conduct
    •  I voted to support this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval) for the reasons listed above (see May 1). Prior to passage, an amendment was offered up to exempt spouses from disclosing their incomes. I voted no so spouses’ incomes and boards they serve on are provided for the public record. The amendment failed 109-33. Several other amendments were offered. I voted to support amendments to address potential conflicts related to negotiations, a language clarification around the definition of a spouse, a technical change, and a change to clarify how political contributions made by spouses would be disclosed. The final vote total was I voted yes.
  • H.170 – An act relating to possession and cultivation of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older
    •  I voted to support this bill through the second stage of passage (preliminary approval). The final proposal passed 74-68. I voted yes. I know that Vermonters disagree on the right approach to addressing marijuana and other substances in our communities. These are very difficult decisions that we have to weigh carefully. H.170 was one of several marijuana-related bills that have been introduced this year. I remain convinced that it’s important that we find ways to invest in preventing youth access and keeping our roadways safe. In that regard, I would generally prefer more structure than what is contemplated in H.170. This notwithstanding, it is clear that marijuana is here, has been here, and will be here in the future. Given the movement of bordering states, I do not believe we can stand still — marijuana will soon be arriving in legally regulated products from Mass and elsewhere. Thus, I voted to support H.170. Prior to passage, a number of procedural motions and amendments were offered. My record on amendments is detailed in full in the calendar.
      • First motion to refer the bill to the Transportation Committee: I voted no. The vote failed 57-85.
      • Second motion to refer bill to the Transportation Committee. I voted no. The vote failed 56-80.
      • Donahue amendment to modify bill to a broader decriminalization proposal. I voted no. The vote failed on a voice vote.
      • Browning amendment to modify the bill to include youth prevention and education measures. No funding mechanism was included to fund the proposal. I voted no. The vote failed 61-78.
      • Browning amendment to put a trigger on legalization contingent on development of a roadside test. I voted no. The vote failed 64-77.
      • O’Sullivan amendment to create a regulated market. I voted yes. The vote failed 42-99.

Wednesday, May 3 — View full Journal

  • H.196 – An act relating to paid family leave
    • I voted to pass this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval) for the reasons listed above (see May 2).
  • H.233 – An act relating to protecting working forests and habitat
    • I voted to support this bill through the second stage of passage (preliminary approval) to ensure Vermont’s natural beauty and forests are protected for generations to come. Our forests and rural landscape are integral to Vermont’s continued economic prosperity. The bill passed by a vote of 85-61. I voted yes.
  • S.34 – An act relating to cross-promoting development incentives and State policy goals
    • I voted to support this bill through the second stage of passage (preliminary approval) to put in place incentives to grow our economy. I voted yes. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.170 – An act relating to possession and cultivation of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older
    • I voted to support this bill through the second stage of passage (preliminary approval). A variety of amendments were proposed prior to passage.
  • H.506 – An act relating to professions no occupations regulated by the Office of Professional Regulation
    • I voted to support a House amendment to the Senate proposal of amendment. The amendment was adopted by a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.512 – An act relating to procedure for conducting recounts
    • I voted to support a House amendment to the Senate proposal of amendment. The amendment was adopted by a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.10 – An act relating to liability for the containment of potable water
    • I voted to support a House motion to concur with the Senate’s proposal of amendment to the House proposal passed last week. The bill passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.72 – An act relating to requiring telemarketers to provide accurate caller identification information
    • **I was off the floor when this vote was taken
  • H.509 – An act relating to making miscellaneous changes to education law
    • This bill became the debate over the Governor’s plan to shift teacher’s healthcare to a statewide negotiation. An amendment was offered to move negotiations to the statewide level. I looked closely at this proposal with members of the Governor’s team, educators and school administrators. I serve on the Education Committee and have spent a lot of time looking at the teachers’ healthcare pool (VEHI). As you may know, the federal Affordable Care Act and changes adopted by the VEHI Board created an opportunity to achieve healthcare savings. How we captured the savings–whether at the statewide level or at the local level–was where the impasse occurred. The reality is that while the Governor called for a change to a statewide negotiation, the Senate sent clear signals that the statewide proposal would not pass their body. Thus, the statewide option was off the table. Without a clear path, a group of House members proposed a legislative compromise to keep negotiations at the local level, with any saved dollars being returned to local communities and the Education Fund (I call it a compromise because it’s where common ground could be found between the House and Senate). The language was adopted after the statewide proposal amendment failed to pass the House. It has been put into a Conference Committee.

Thursday, May 4 — View full Journal

  • H.218 – An act relating to the adequate shelter of dogs and cats
    • I voted to support a measures to order the bill to lie. The motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.34 – An act relating to cross-promoting development incentives and State policy goals
    • I voted to support this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval) for the reasons listed on May 3.
  • S.135 – An act relating to promoting economic development
    • I voted to support this bill through the second stage of passage (preliminary approval) to make important updates to our economic development laws. Our state needs tools to grow its economy. This bill puts in place new mechanisms, and expands others, to provide more opportunities to improve our economy. Later, I supported a motion to immediately pass the bill to the Senate so it has a chance to succeed.
  • S.9 – An act relating to the preparation of poultry products
    • This bill, which passed the House earlier this year, was returned from the Senate with many changes. As such, I supported a motion to not concur with the Senate and to recommend that a committee of conference be formed. The motion passed with unanimous support.
  • H.233 – An act relating to protecting working forests and habitat
    • This bill, which passed the House earlier this year, was returned from the Senate with many changes. As such, I supported an amendment to the bill. The amendment and bill passed by a vote of 85-58.
  • H.130 – An act relating to approval of the amendments of the charter of the Town of Hartford
    • This municipal charter, which passed the House earlier this year, was returned from the Senate with minor changes. As such, I supported a motion to concur with the Senate. The motion passed with unanimous support.
  • H.347 – An act relating to the State Telecommunications Plan
    • This bill, which passed the House earlier this year, was returned from the Senate with several changes. I joined the House Energy and Technology Committee to concur in the Senate proposal of amendment. The bill passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.424 – An act relating to the Commission on Act 250: the Next 50 Years
    • This bill, which passed the House earlier this year, was returned from the Senate with several changes. I joined the House Natural Resources Committee to concur in the Senate proposal of amendment. The bill passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.519 – An act relating to capital construction and State bonding
    • The Senate revised the House-passed capital proposal that advanced through the House in March. After reviewing the Senate’s changes, the Capital and Institutions Committee recommended making several changes. I voted to support the amendment to the Senate proposal of amendment. The bill passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.75 – An act relating to aquatic nuisance species control
    •  When the House passed this bill through the chamber, some concerns were raised. A Committee of Conference was appointed to resolve differences of opinion between the House and Senate. I voted to support this Conference Committee report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.127 – An act relating to miscellaneous changes to laws related to vehicles and vessels
    • A Committee of Conference was appointed to resolve differences of opinion between the House and Senate. Their report made several changes that resolved the differences between the bodies. I voted to support this Conference Committee report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.59 – An act relating to technical corrections
    • The House Government Operations Committee reviewed this Senate amendment and recommended that the House vote to concur with the Senate proposal. The bill passed with a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.111 – An act relating to vital records
    • The House Government Operations Committee reviewed this Senate amendment and recommended that the House vote to concur with the Senate proposal. The bill passed with a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.218 – An act relating to the adequate shelter of dogs and cats
    • The House Agriculture Committee reviewed this Senate amendment and recommended that the House vote to concur with the Senate proposal. The bill passed with a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.411 – An act relating to Vermont’s energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment
    • The House Energy and Technology Committee reviewed this Senate amendment and recommended that the House vote to concur with the Senate proposal. The bill passed with a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.510 – An act relating to the cost share for State agricultural water quality financial assistance grants
    • The House Natural Resources Committee reviewed this Senate amendment and recommended that the House commit the bill to the Committee on Ways and Means. The bill motion passed with a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.61 – An act relating to offenders with mental illness
    • This bill, which passed the House earlier this year, was returned from the Senate with several changes. I joined the House Capital and Institutions Committee to concur in the Senate proposal of amendment. The bill passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.74 – An act relating to nonconsensual sexual contact
    • A Committee of Conference was appointed to resolve differences of opinion between the House and Senate. Their report made several changes that resolved the differences between the bodies. I voted to support this Conference Committee report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.50 – An act relating to insurance coverage for telemedicine services delivered in or outside a health care facility
    • A Committee of Conference was appointed to resolve differences of opinion between the House and Senate. Their report made several changes that resolved the differences between the bodies. I voted to support this Conference Committee report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.131 – An act relating to state’s Attorney’s and Sheriffs
    * I voted to support this bill through the 2nd stage of passage (final approval) so certain State’s Attorney’s Office employees can bargain collectively. The bill passed 144-2.
  • S.103 – An act relating to the regulation of toxic substances and hazardous materials
    • I voted to support this bill through the 2nd stage of passage (preliminary approval) to put in place critically important environmental protections. The bill passed 93-52.

Friday, May 5 — View full Journal

  • S.131 – An act relating to state’s Attorney’s and Sheriffs
    • I voted to support this bill through the 3rd stage of passage (final approval) for the reasons listed above. The bill passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.495 – An act relating to miscellaneous agricultural subjects
    • This bill, which passed the House earlier this year, was returned from the Senate with several changes. I joined the House Agriculture Committee to not concur with the Senate and appoint a Committee of Conference. The motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.95 – An act relating to sexual assault nurse examiners
    • I voted to support the Human Services Committee in adopting a strike all amendment to this Senate bill. It is important that our nurses and healthcare providers have the tools to assist individuals who experience trauma. The amended bill passed by a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.171 – An act relating to expungement
    • A Committee of Conference was appointed to resolve differences of opinion between the House and Senate. Their report made several changes that resolved the differences between the bodies. I voted to support this Conference Committee report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.16 – An act relating to expanding patient access to the Medical Marijuana Registry
    • A Committee of Conference was appointed to resolve differences of opinion between the House and Senate. Their report made several changes that resolved the differences between the bodies. I voted to support this Conference Committee report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.103 – An act relating to the regulation of toxic substances and hazardous materials
    • I voted to support this bill through the third stage of passage (final approval). Prior to passage, an amendment was offered to change the role of the Health Commissioner on a toxics working group. I voted to support the amendment, which failed. I voted for the bill for the reasons listed above (see May 4).
  • S.134 – An act relating to court diversion and pretrial services
    • A Committee of Conference was appointed to resolve differences of opinion between the House and Senate. Their report made several changes that resolved the differences between the bodies. I voted to support this Conference Committee report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.9 – An act relating to the preparation of poultry products
    • A Committee of Conference was appointed to resolve differences of opinion between the House and Senate. Their report made several changes that resolved the differences between the bodies. I voted to support this Conference Committee report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.133 – An act relating to examining mental health care and care coordination
    • **I was off the floor when this vote took place.
  • H.503 – An act relating to building resilience for individuals experiencing adverse childhood experiences
    • **I was off the floor when this vote took place.
  • H.513 – An act relating to making miscellaneous changes to education law
    • **I was off the floor when this vote took place.