Week 17 Voting Record of the 2018 Legislative Session

Tuesday, May 1 — View full Journal

  • S.269 — An act relating to block chain, cryptocurrency, and financial technology
    I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage. The bill creates two new company structures, Personal Information Protection Companies (PIPC) and Blockchain Based LLCs, to better position Vermont as a haven for software companies using Blockchain technology. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.192 — An act relating to transferring the professional regulation of law enforcement officers from the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council to the Office of Professional Regulation
    • I voted to support this bill through second (preliminary) reading to streamline regulation of law enforcement officers, transferring oversight to the Office of Professional Regulation. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.281 — An act relating to the mitigation of systemic racism
    • I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to address systemic racism, particularly in our State workforce. Bias and systemic racism are pervasive in State Government, as recently reported by media outlets. We need to do better if we are to create a safe environment for all employees to succeed and contribute to the success of the state. I voted yes. The bill passed 140-2. I voted yes.
  • H.378 — An act relating to the creation of the Artificial Intelligence Task Force
    • This bill was originally passed by the House on March 13 to setup a process to assess how increasing uses of artificial intelligence could impact Vermont. The Senate made a minor change to the makeup of the task force. As such, I joined the Energy and Technology Committee’s recommendation and voted yes. The bill passed.
  • H.624 — An act relating to protection of information in the statewide voter checklist
    This bill, which I introduced with the support of the Secretary of State and Attorney General, was modified slightly in the Senate, prior to returning to the House. As I noted in the Essex Reporter at the start of the session, this was a top issue based on feedback I heard last summer from neighbors who were alarmed when President Trump convened a commission to collect voter information from states. The presidential commission generated a lot of pushback. Bipartisan leaders of over 40 states, including our secretary of state, opposed the President’s initiative on the grounds that it could jeopardize election security and personal information. I want to thank the Senate for approving this important bill. I am hopeful Governor Scott will sign it into law once it arrives to his desk.
  • S.101 — An act relating to the conduct of forestry operations
    • This bill was originally passed by the House on April 14. I joined the House Agriculture Committee in its recommendation to concur with minor amendments made by the Senate. The body concurred. I voted yes and the bill passed.
  • H.404 — An act relating to Medicaid reimbursement for long-acting reversible contraceptives
    • This bill was originally passed by the House on March 21 to improve access to contraceptives. I was off the floor for a committee hearing when it came up and did not vote.
  • H.710 — An act relating to beer franchises
    • This bill was originally passed by the House on March 16 to update how brewer and distributor relationships are overseen. I was off the floor for a committee hearing when it came up and did not vote.
  • H.718 — An act relating to creation of the Restorative Justice Study Committee
    • This bill was originally passed by the House on February 28 to create a committee to focus on how restorative justice practices can be incorporated into more processes and programs. I was off the floor for a committee hearing when it came up and did not vote.
  • H.719 — An act relating to insurance companies and trust companies
    • This bill was originally passed by the House on February 7 to make miscellaneous updates to insurance laws. I was off the floor for a committee hearing when it came up and did not vote.
  • S.272– An act relating to miscellaneous changes to laws related to motor vehicles
    • I was off the floor when this omnibus transportation bill was committed to conference committee. I did not vote.
  • H.856 — An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to municipal law
    • I was off the floor when this omnibus municipal law package went to the floor. I did not vote.
  • H.892 — An act relating to regulation of short-term, limited duration health insurance coverage and association health plans
    • This bill was originally passed by the House on February 21 to update how short-term health plans are overseen. I voted yes to concur with the Senate’s proposal of amendment. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.111 — An act relating to privatization contracts
    I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to update contracting processes and create a better process for procurement. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.

Wednesday, May 2 — View full Journal

  • S.175 — An act relating to the wholesale importation of prescription drugs into Vermont, bulk purchasing, and the impact of prescription drug costs on health insurance premiums
    • I voted this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to try to create a process whereby we can acquire more affordable prescription drugs for Vermonters. The bill directs the Agency of Human Services to develop a wholesale prescription drug importation program. The program would designate a state agency to become or contract with a licensed drug wholesaler to import prescription drugs at a significant cost savings to Vermonters. I voted yes. The bill passed 141-2.
  • S.111 — An act relating to privatization contracts
    • I voted to support this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see May 1). The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.192 — An act relating to transferring the professional regulation of law enforcement officers from the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council to the Office of Professional Regulation
    • I voted to support this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see May 1). The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.269 — An act relating to block chain, cryptocurrency, and financial technology
    • I voted to support this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see May 1). The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.281 — An act relating to the mitigation of systemic racism
    • I voted to support this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see May 1). The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.716 — An act relating to approval of the adoption of the charter of the Edward Farrar Utility District and the merger of the Village of Waterbury into the District
    • I voted to support this non-controversial technical charter change. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.206 — An act relating to business consumer protection.
    • I was off the floor for a committee hearing and did not vote.
  • H. 593 — An act relating to miscellaneous consumer protection provisions
    • I was off the floor when this omnibus consumer protection bill was committed to a conference committee. As such, I did not vote on the motion.’
  • H. 676 — An act relating to miscellaneous energy subjects
    • I was off the floor when the omnibus energy bill came to the floor. As such, I did not vote to further amend the bill to the Senate.
  • H. 711 — An act relating to employment protections for crime victims
    • I was off the floor when this criminal justice bill came before the House and did not vote to further amend the bill to the Senate.
  • H.806 — An act relating to the Southeast State Correctional Facility
    • I was off the floor when this bill came before the House and did not vote.
  • H.25 — An act relating to sexual assault survivors’ rights
    • I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to update state laws for sentencing domestic terrorism. These provisions were of great interest following the shooting threat at Fair Haven High School. We heard a variety of feedback from community members, and members of the criminal justice community, requesting additional tools to address domestic terrorism threats. The bill passed on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.

Thursday, May 3 — View full Journal

  • S.175 — An act relating to the wholesale importation of prescription drugs into Vermont, bulk purchasing, and the impact of prescription drug costs on health insurance premiums
    • I voted this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see May 3).
  • S.206 — An act relating to business consumer protection.
    • I was off the floor with a constituent and did not vote.
  • S.197 — An act relating to liability for toxic abuse substance exposures or releases
    • I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) reading to provide a process whereby companies who pollute are held accountable to provide medical treatment for those impacted by such toxic substances. Approximately 16 states have allowed medical monitoring causes of action. We have seen the damage toxic substances can do to communities in Bennington County, where PFOA contamination was discovered, impacting residents. The bill passed 92-45. I voted yes.
  • S.222 — An act relating to miscellaneous judiciary procedures
    • I voted this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to make a variety of miscellaneous judicial amendments. This non-controversial bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.92 — An act relating to interchangeable biological products
    • I voted that we concur with the Senate proposal of amendment, which made slight technical modifications to the bill recently passed by the House. The bill passed
  • S.203 — An act relating to systematic improvements of the mental health system
    • I was off the floor in a meeting during this debate and did not vote.
  • S.150 — An act relating to automated license plate recognition systems
    • I was off the floor in a meeting during this debate and did not vote.
  • S.179 — An act relating to community justice centers
    • I was off the floor in a meeting during this debate and did not vote.
  • S.262 — An act relating to miscellaneous changes to the Medicaid program and the Department of Vermont Health Access
    • I was off the floor in a meeting during this debate and did not vote.
  • S.180 — An act relating to the Vermont Fair Repair Act
    • I was off the floor in a meeting during this debate and did not vote.
  • S.273 — An act relating to miscellaneous law enforcement amendments
    • I was off the floor in a meeting during this debate and did not vote.
  • H.780 — An act relating to portable rides at agricultural fairs, field days, and other similar events
    • I was off the floor in a meeting during this debate and did not vote.
  • H.859 — An act relating to requiring municipal corporations to affirmatively vote to retain ownership of lease lands
    • This bill, which first passed the House on March 15, came back from the Senate with minor amendments. I voted to support the Government Operations Committee’s recommendation to concur with the senate proposal of amendment, which passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.105 — An act relating to consumer justice enforcement
    • I voted to pass this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage. The bill would create a statutory presumption that certain terms in standard-form contracts are unconscionable and thus unenforceable. The intent is to level the playing field between consumers and companies who require them to enter so-called contracts of adhesion (ones where the consumer does not negotiate the terms and must accept them to access the company’s services, such as an online agreement).This was a lengthy debate in which a range of legal and practical considerations was debated. Prior to passage, Rep. Heidi Schuerman moved that the bill be committed to the Committee on Commerce. I voted against this motion, given the extensive testimony conducted prior to the bill arriving on the floor. Ultimately, the Judiciary Committee agreed to craft tighter language for consideration on third reading. As such, the bill passed on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.

Friday, May 4 — View full Journal

  • S.203 — An act relating to systemic improvements of the mental health system
    • I was off the floor in a meeting and did not vote.
  • S.150 — An act relating to automated license plate recognition systems
    • I was off the floor in a meeting and did not vote.
  • S.179 — An act relating to community justice centers
    • I was off the floor in a meeting and did not vote.
  • S.180 — An act relating to the Vermont Fair Repair Act
    • I was off the floor in a meeting and did not vote.
  • S.222 — An act relating to miscellaneous judiciary procedures
    • I was off the floor in a meeting and did not vote.
  • S.262 — An act relating to miscellaneous changes to the Medicaid program and the Department of Vermont Health Access
  • I was off the floor in a meeting and did not vote.
  • S.273 — An act relating to miscellaneous law enforcement amendments
    • I was off the floor in a meeting and did not vote.
  • S.234 — An act relating to adjudicating all teenagers in the Family Division, except those charged with a serious violent felony
    • I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to align and apply our restorative justice goals to juveniles held by the state. I am strongly supportive of policies that give our youth who have a non-criminal record a second shot. By providing structures to adjudicating these young Vermonters of their crimes, we give them a better shot at a successful future. We adopted an amendment offered by the House Human Services Committee prior to passing the bill. The bill passed on a lopsided voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.260 — An act relating to funding the cleanup of State waters
    • I voted to support this package of lake cleanup provisions through the second (preliminary) stage of passage. I share the view of most neighbors who have contacted me that we must act to put in place certainty as we look to fund our clean water obligations. Failure to do so could have a negative impact on our economy. Prior to supporting the bill, Rep. Jim Harrison asked that we take a vote on the revenue portions of the bill, which fund lake cleanup initiatives, as a stand-alone message. I voted to include the revenue sources identified by the House Ways and Means Committee. The measure passed by a vote of 84-55. A number of provisions were reviewed as presented by Rep. Cynthia Browning. An amendment to review revenue sources through a study was approved by the body.
  • S.280 — An act relating to the Advisory Council for Strengthening Families
    • I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to continue the childhood poverty council, broadening its membership to include more representatives. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.910 — An act relating to the open meeting law and public records act
    • This bill, which first passed the House on March 14, was modified by the Senate. I voted to support the Government Operation Committee’s recommendation to create a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate.
  • S.166 — An act relating to the provision of medication-assisted treatment for inmates
    • This bill, which passed the House on April 27, underwent minor changes upon its return to the House. As such, I voted to pass this bill as recommended by the House Corrections and Institutions Committee.
  • S.224 — An act relating to co-payment limits for visit to chiropractors
    • I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage. This bill creates processes to better access treatment that does not rely on opioids or other pain relievers. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.928 — An act relating to compensation for certain state employees
    • I was off the floor during this bill and did not vote.
  • S.261 — An act relating to mitigating trauma and toxic stress during childhood
    • I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to develop strategies to combat adverse childhood experiences, otherwise known as ACEs. Rep. Houghton and I made an effort to bring a presentation to our community about the importance of ACEs and addressing this area of research with State investment and policy change. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.908 — An act relating to the Administrative Procedures Act
    • This bill, which first passed this House on March 14, came back from the Senate with minor adjustments requested by the administration. The House Government Operations Committee recommended addition of a technical amendment. I voted to support the amendment, which passed. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.105 — An act relating to consumer justice enforcement
    • I voted to pass this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see May 4). Prior to passage, several amendments were offered. I voted to support an amendment put forward by the Judiciary Committee to clarify the legislative intent, per concerns that were raised in the debate on May 4. This language provides certainty that the legislature does not intend this bill to limit “inherent risk” provisions contained elsewhere in law — I voted yes on the measure, which passed on 72-59.