Week 16 Voting Record of the 2018 Legislative Session

Tuesday, April 24 — View full Journal

  • S.85 — An act relating to simplifying government for small businesses
    • I voted to support this bill to streamline several processes by which small businesses interact with state government. This is a good proposal put forward by the Commerce Committee to provide more information and guide small businesses through the challenges they most frequently face as they navigate state policies and regulations. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.203 — An act relating to systematic improvements of the mental health system
    • I voted to support this package to improve our state’s mental health system. Our service delivery model is outdated and has faced significant challenges since Tropical Storm Irene displaced and dislodged the State-owned campus in Waterbury. This bill puts forward a number of measures, including an expedited process to waive the Certificate of Need (CON) requirement for the Brattleboro Retreat, which will be updated so new mental health units will be in operation by September 2019. This is an important step to bolster the fabric of our mental health system. I voted yes. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.272 — An act relating to miscellaneous changes to laws related to motor vehicles
    • I voted to support this bill, which is the Senate version of the transportation bill that the House passed earlier this year. The bill passed on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.225 — An act relating to pilot programs for coverage by commercial health insurers of costs associated with medication-assisted treatment
    • I was off the floor for a meeting during this vote and did not vote.
  • H.294 — An act relating to inquiries about an applicant’s salary history
    • I voted to support this bill, which earlier passed the House on February 16. The bill passed on a near unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.333 — An act relating to Identification of gender-free restrooms in public buildings and places of public accommodation
    • I voted to support this bill, which earlier passed the House on April 25, 2017. The bill passed on a near unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.603 — An act relating to human trafficking
    • I voted to support this bill, which earlier passed the House on February 7. The bill passed on a unanimous vote.

Wednesday, April 25 — View full Journal

  • H.27 — An act relating to eliminating the statute of limitations on prosecutions for sexual assault
    • This bill underwent significant changes after moving from the House to the Senate. As such, I voted to create a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions.
  • H.696 — An act relating to establishing a State individual mandate
    • This bill underwent significant changes after moving from the House to the Senate; notably, the individual mandate was removed.. As such, I voted to create a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions.
  • S.272 — An act relating to miscellaneous changes to laws related to motor vehicles
    • I voted to support this bill through third (final) reading, which is the Senate version of the transportation bill that the House passed earlier this year. Prior to passage, several amendments were offered. Rep. Kurt Wright put forward an amendment to make a penalty if a car does not remove ice or snow deposits from their automobile prior to driving in it; he withdrew the amendment after receiving assurances from the Transportation Committee that they would take the issue up next year. Next, Rep. Brian Keefe put forward an amendment to create a waiver process to create exceptions o the emissions rules under Vermont’s vehicle inspection rules. Given that Rep. Keefe’s proposal encompassed the requirements of the Clean Air Act, I voted yes — the amendment passed. Rep. Bob Frenier next brought forward an amendment to define a “resident” in the motor vehicle statutes as mandating that such a resident must be registered to vote in the state of Vermont. I voted no to this proposal, as it struck me as a backdoor way to limit voter participation — the Transportation Committee agreed and the amendment failed. The Transportation Committee put forward an amendment to waive, for a temporary period from July 1, 2018 – July 1, 2019, reciprocal agreements with other countries that recognize Vermont licenses — the amendment passed on a near unanimous voice vote. Finally, I voted to pass the bill, which passed by a vote of 142-3.
  • H.914 — An act relating to reporting requirements for the second year of the Vermont Medicaid Next Generation ACO Pilot Project
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 14, underwent a small, technical amendment in the Senate to update a committees’ membership. I voted yes to concur with the Senate proposal of amendment, which passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.103 — An act relating to the regulation of toxic substances and hazardous materials
    • This bill, which proposed to regulate toxic chemicals harmful to Vermonters, first passed the House in 2017, and again in March 2018. It was subsequently vetoed by the Governor. This version of the bill updated criteria by which the Department of Health would view requirements, strengthening it from a standard of “weight of credible scientific evidence” to a standard of “independent, peer reviewed, scientific research.” I felt the bill’s provisions were warranted and appropriate, given the intent of the bill and the lack of a comprehensive analysis outlined in the Governor’s veto. Furthermore, the bill proposes to give the Department of Health additional authority to present information to consumers. As Rep. Deen said, “quibbling about words without values is no reason [to excessive a veto].” I voted yes to override the Governor’s veto. It takes 2/3 of those present to override a veto. In this case, there were more than 1/3 of votes sustaining the Governor’s veto. As such, the veto was sustained and the bill was thwarted on a vote of 94-53.
  • S.203 — An act relating to systematic improvements of the mental health system
    • I voted to support this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see April 24). Prior to passage, the House approved an amendment to create a process to improve how we transport Vermonters seeking treatment. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.225 — An act relating to pilot programs for coverage by commercial health insurers of costs associated with medication-assisted treatment
    • I was off the floor for a meeting during this vote and did not vote.

Thursday, April 26 — View full Journal

  • S.166 — An act relating to medication-assisted treatment for inmates
    • I voted this bill through second (preliminary) reading to improve the process by which inmates are provided medication. The bill includes new policies to assist inmates that are dealing with opiate addiction. Overall, this bill strikes an important balance as we try to address addiction in amongst our incarcerated populations. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.874 — An act relating to inmate access to prescription drugs
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 14 to update how inmates are prescribed prescription drugs, was returned by the Senate with several amendments. In return, I supported a House proposal of amendment to make several additions to the Senate proposals of amendment. The updates passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.143 — An act relating to automobile insurance requirements and transportation network companies
    • This bill, which passed the House on February 10, 2017 to put in place basic requirements for companies like Uber and Lyft that provide driving services, was returned by the Senate with several amendments. As such, I voted to support the Commerce Committee and their proposal of amendment to restore the House provisions we passed last year. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.921 — An act relating to nursing home oversight
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 14, was returned by the Senate with several amendments. I voted to support the Human Services Committee in agreeing with the Senate’s amendments. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.29 — An act relating to decedents’ estates
    • The House Judiciary Committee did not concur with this bill, which passed the Senate. I voted yes to appoint a conference committee to resolve the differences. The motion passed.

Friday, April 27 — View full Journal

  • H.608 — An act relating to creating an older Vermonters working group
    • This bill, which first passed the House on February 28, was returned from the Senate with several amendments, including changing the makeup of a working group to investigate ways to assist older Vermonters. The House unanimously adopted the amendment and voted to pass the bill to the Senate. I voted yes.
  • H.167 — An act relating to alternative approaches to addressing low-level illicit drug use
    • This bill was pulled off the notice calendar by a group of Progressive representatives who wanted to renew a debate on whether we should pass legislation to pass a system to tax and regulate marijuana.
  • S.166 — An act relating to medication-assisted treatment for inmates
    • I voted this bill through third (final) reading for the reasons listed above (see April 26). I voted yes. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.828 — An act relating to Disclosures in campaign finance law
    • I was off the floor for a meeting and did not vote.
  • H.909 — An act relating to Technical and clarifying changes in transportation-related laws
    • I was off the floor for a meeting and did not vote.