Week 18 Voting Record of the 2018 Legislative Session

Monday, May 7 — View full Journal

  • H.928 — An aft relating to compensation for certain State employees
    • I was off the floor and did not vote.
  • S.224 — An act relating to co-payment limits for visits to chiropractors
    • I voted to support this I’ll through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons outlined last week (see May 4).
  • S.261 — An act relating to mitigating trauma and toxic stress during childhood by strengthening child and family resilience
    • I voted to support this I’ll through the second (preliminary) stage of passage for the reasons outlined last week (see May 4).
  • S.280 — An act relating to the Advisory Council for Strengthening Families
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • S.94 — An act relating to promoting remote work
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • H.25 — An act relating to sexual assault survivors’ rights
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • S.123 — An act relating to lead poisoning prevention
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • S.285 — An act relating to universal recycling requirements
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • S.287 — An act relating to aquatic nuisance control
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • H.132 — An act relating to limiting landowner liability for posting the dangers of swimming holes
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • H.660 — An act relating to establishing the Commission on Sentencing Disparities and Criminal Code Reclassification
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • H.143 — An act relating to automobile insurance requirements and transportation networks
  • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • H.889 — An act relating to fees for records filed in town offices and a town fee report and request
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • S.29 — An act relating to decedents’ estates
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • S.260 — An act relating to funding the cleanup of State waters
    • I was off the floor to present a resolution honoring former Senator Bill Doyle.
  • S.234 — An act relating to the Advisory Council for Strengthening Families
    • I voted to support this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed last week (see May 4). Prior to passage, I voted against Anne Donahue’s amendment, which failed 53-70. The bill passed on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.

Tuesday, May 8 — View full Journal

  • H.526 — An act relating to regulating notaries public
    • This bill, which previously passed the House on April 21, was amended by the Senate before being returned to the House. I voted to support the House Government Operations Committee’s proposal to amend the Senate bill, which passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.923 — An act relating to capital construction and State bonding budget adjustment
    • This bill, the annual capital bill, previously passed the House on March 28. The Senate Institutions Committee proposed several amendments. The House Institutions and Corrections Committee reviewed the proposal at length, and in turn presented some additional amendments. I voted to pass the amended bill to the Senate, which passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.911 — An act relating to changes in Vermont’s personal income tax and education financing system
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 21, contained many provisions changing Vermont’s income tax and education finance laws. The House and Senate were miles apart, which led the House to vote to not concur and appoint a conference committee. I voted yes to start the conference process to expedite adjournment.
  • S.40 — An act relating to increasing the minimum wage
    • I voted to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15.00 by 2024. At the current minimum wage, an employee working 40 hours per week for 52 weeks a year would make just over $21,000 annually. It is estimated that 8.5% of Vermont workers earn minimum wage. Many of these individuals qualify for public subsidies — indeed, the existing minimum wage is a poverty wage, which requires state investment to provide adequate dollars to supplement this low pay. This is no way for Vermonters to achieve success. If we do nothing, the minimum wage in 2024 would be $12.16 hourly. I support moving to $15.00 by 2024. A variety of amendments came before the House. The first, offered by Rep. Cynthia Browning, proposed a study of the regional impacts of minimum wage. While I welcome the opportunity for additional vetting, I feel the extensive testimony collected by the Senate and House provided ample study for consideration. I voted no on the amendment, which failed on a vote of 67-78. Next, Rep. Bob Helm put forward an amendment that proposed to allow Chittenden, Washington, and Franklin Countieis to proceed with a $15 minimum wage by 2024, while the rest of the state would have minimum wage tied to a different, less robust inflator. While I appreciate the frustration of members who are from counties other than those listed, I do not think it is appropriate to advance laws that regionalize wages — the House agreed, declining to pass the amendment by a vote of 19-127. We next took up an amendment offered by Rep. Paul Poirier, which proposed to more rapidly increase the wage, achieving $15.00 by 2021. The amendment failed 12-134. I voted no. The final amendment proposal was adopted on a 77-69 vote. I voted yes for final passage. The bill passed
  • H.912 — An act relating to the health care regulatory duties of the Green Mountain Care Board
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 14, underwent modification in the Senate. The House Health Care Committee voted unanimously to make a slight modification, which I supported. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes
  • H.913 — An act relating to boards and commissions
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 21, underwent slight changes in the Senate. The House Government Operations Committee voted unanimously to make a slight modification, which I supported. 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
    • This bill, which passed the House on May 2, came back with several amendments. As such, I voted to support the Government Operations Committee’s recommendation to form a conference committee, which passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.917 — An act relating to the transpiration program and miscellaneous changes to transportation-related law
    • This transportation bill, which passed the House on March 21, came back from the Senate with a number of amendments that the House Transportation Committee did not agree with. As such, I supported their recommendation to pass another proposal of amendment, which passed on mixed voice vote. The bill passed. I voted yes.
  • S.204 — An relating to the registration of short-term rentals
    • This bill, which proposes a process to regulate short-term rentals, came before the House late in the session. The House Committee of General, Housing and Military Affairs put forward an amendment to significantly change the Senate proposal. I voted to support their amendment, which was unanimously approved. The bill passed. I voted yes.

Wednesday, May 9 — View full Journal

  • H. 764 — An aft relating to data brokers and consumer protection
    • This bill, which passed the House on February 16, was amended by the Senate. The House Commerce Committee reviewed the bill and found several unresolved questions. As such, I joined a unanimous vote of the body to form a conference committee to resolve the differences.
  • S.281 — An act relating to the mitigation of systemic racism
    • This bill, which passed the House on May 2, underwent significant modifications after being returned by the Senate. As such, I supported the House Government Operations Committee’s request to form a conference committee. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.40 — An act relating to increasing the minimum wage
    • I voted to support this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see May 8). The bill passed on a mixed voice vote.
  • S.204 — An relating to the registration of short-term rentals
    • I voted to support this bill through the third (final) stage of passage for the reasons listed above (see May 8). The bill passed on a mixed voice vote.
  • H.897 — An aft relating to the effectiveness, availability, and equity of services provided to students who require additional support
    • This special education reform bill, which I worked on extensively in the Education Committee, passed with further proposal of amendment. However, I was off the floor in a meeting with an Essex Junction constituent and did not vote.
  • H.663 — An aft relating to municipal land use regulation of accessory on-farm business
    • This House bill, which passed the House on February 9, came back from the Senate with several amendments. After hearing the report of the House Agriculture Committee, which unanimously supported the amendments, I voted yes to concur with the Senate. The bill passed on a unanimous vote.
  • H.731 — An aft relating to miscellaneous workers’ compensation and occupational safety amendments
    • This bill first passed the House on March 1, was passed to set the workers’ compensation rates, as annually required. The Senate made a series of amendments. The Commerce Committee reviewed the bill in consultation with the Ways and Means Committee and voted to support the amendment. I voted to concur. The bill passed.
  • H.728 — An aft relating to bail reform
    • This bill first, which passed the House on March 2, was returned to the House after several amendments in the Senate. I voted to support the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation to concur with the Senate. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.562 — An aft relating to parentage proceedings
    • This bill, which passed the House on April 12, was later sent to a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and the Senate. The Judiciary Committee presented several changes, which they deemed appropriate. The conference report was adopted by unanimous vote. I voted yes.
  • H.571 — An act relating to creating the Department of Liquor and Lottery and the Board of Liquor and Lottery
    • This bill, which passed the House on February 21, was later sent to a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and the Senate. The House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee reviewed the bill, which was supplemented by a several new additions. The House unanimously adopted their recommendation to form a conference committee to resolve the chambers’ differences. I voted yes.
  • H.684 — An act relating to professions and occupations regulated by the Office of Professional Regulation
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 2, was modified after moving to the Senate. The House Government Operations Committee urged the House to concur with the Senate proposal of amendment, which was approved on a near unanimous vote.
  • H.639 — An act relating to banning cost-sharing for all breast imaging services
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 15, was modified after moving to the Senate. The House Health Care Committee reviewed the Senate’s amendments and approved concurring with their changes. After hearing the report of the House Committee, I joined the body in unanimously approving passage. The bill passed.
  • H.907 — An act relating to improving rental housing safety
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 15, underwent changes in the Senate. The amendments were reviewed by the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee, who recommended concurring with the Senate. The body unanimously voted yes.
  • H.919 — An act relating to workforce development
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 20 on a unanimous vote, was amended by the Senate. The House Commerce Committee reviewed their changes and requested a conference committee. I voted to support the creation a conference committee to strengthen the bill. The motion passed on a unanimous vote.
  • H.727 — An act relating to the admissibility of a child’s hearsay statements in a proceeding before the Human Services Board
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 1, moved on to the Senate, where it underwent small changes. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.261 — An act relating to mitigating trauma and toxic stress during childhood by strengthening child and family resilience
    • I voted to support this through the third (final) stage of passage to take important steps to deal with ACEs and traumatic (see May 4). The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.244 — An act relating to repealing the guidelines for spousal maintenance awards
    • I was off the floor and did not vote.
  • H.636 — An act relating to miscellaneous fish and wildlife subjects
    • I was off the floor and did not vote.
  • H.908 — An act relating to the Administrative Procedure Act
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 14 and again on May 4, was returned to the House after amendment by the Senate. The House proposed to add an additional provision, which was approved unanimously.
  • S.276 — An act relating to rural economic development
    • I voted yes to support this bill through the second (preliminary) stage of passage to improve options to incentivize rural economic development. This omnibus package of economic development provisions were developed to spur business activities in Vermont’s rural communities. The Committees that developed the proposal voted on a unanimous basis to advance these provisions. I voted yes to support this proposal. My hope is that it will bring opportunity to areas of our state that are prepared to innovate as they develop their economies in the 21st century. The bill passed by a vote of 112-0. I voted yes.

Thursday, May 10 — View full Journal

  • H.908 — An aft relating to the Administrative Procedure Act
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 14, and again on May 5, came back from the Senate with several technical amendments. I voted to support one final language change, as recommended by the House Government Operations Committee. The amended bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.410 — An aft relating to adding products to Vermont’s energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment
    • This bill, which first passed the House on February 1, was amended to by the Senate to modify the authority of the Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, along with several changes to efficiency standards and planning. I voted to support the House Energy and Technology Committee’s report concurring with the Senate proposal of amendment. The bill passed on a mixed voice vote.
  • H.554 — An act relating to the regulation of dams
    • This bill, which first passed the House on January 18, 2018, was amended by the Senate to update some of the definitions within the bill. I voted to support the Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources Committee’s recommendation to concur with the amended bill. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.739 — An act relating to Energy productivity investments made under the self-managed energy efficiency program
    • This bill, which first passed the House on March 14, 2018, underwent some changes in the Senate, providing more flexibility to become part of a SMEEP plan, so more businesses can achieve better energy efficiency.
  • H.707 — An act relating to the prevention of sexual Harassment
    • This tripartisan bill originally passed the House on March 14. It underwent several amendments before being returned to the House, including additional resources for the Vermont Commission on Women to develop and implement a public education plan. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.261 — An act relating to mitigating trauma and toxic stress during childhood by strengthening child and family resilience
    • I was off the floor in a Committee meeting when this bill passed and did not vote.
  • S.257 — An act relating to miscellaneous changes to education law
    • I voted to support this package of miscellaneous education provisions through the second (preliminary) stage of passage. We worked extensively on this bill in committee, which included a variety of provisions that made changes to the universal preK law, created an Ethnic Studies and Social Equity Standards Working Group, new initiatives for radon testing, and other areas of law. I voted to support amendments offered by the Human Services and Appropriations Committees, as well as Rep. Dan Connor. These proposals tweaked various aspects of the bill to clarify the House’s intent. The bill passed on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.222 — An act relating to miscellaneous Judiciary procedures
    • This bill, which passed the House on May 4, was returned with several technical amendments. The House Human Services Committee concurred, which the body followed on a unanimous voice vote.

Friday, May 11 — View full Journal

  • H.196 — An act relating to paid family leave
    • This bill, which first passed the House on May 7, 2017, was returned to the House with several amendments. I voted yes on this bill. Vermont’s workforce has changed significantly in recent decades. As was pointed out during this House debate, many workplace policies were developed with the expectation that a woman would stay home to provide care for children or elderly family members, which is no longer the case. More than 70 percent of Vermont children under age 6 have all parents in the labor force, and the share of adult children providing care to aging parents has tripled over the past 15 years. A family leave program is important to ensure that working families can balance work and family needs while maintaining economic security. To fund the program, 0.136% of each employee’s wages will be withheld. An employer may opt to pay this amount as a benefit. This comes out to $0.57 weekly for every $10 an hour one makes. An employee who seeks to utilize leave could access 70% of an employee’s average weekly wage, which is capped at $1,042/week. I voted yes. The bill passed on a vote of 90-53.
  • S.85 — An act relating to simplifying government for small businesses
    • This bill, which the House last passed May 5, was updated by a conference committee. This is a good bill to centralize information for business owners. I voted yes to advance it to the Governor’s desk. It passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.179 — An act relating to community justice centers
    • This bill, which passed the House on May 4, was amended by a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate, which were agreed upon. I voted yes to support this motion. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.269 An act relating to blockchain, cryptocurrency, and financial technology
    • This bill, which passed the House on May 2, was sent to conference to address some concerns about personal information companies, expanding definitions about contracts. I voted yes to adopt the conference committee’s report. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.608 — An act relating to creating an Older Vermonters Act working group
    • This bill, which passed the House on February 27 and April 27, was amended by the Senate, which proposed several minor changes. I voted yes to convene this important discussion. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • S.241 — An act relating to the makeup and duties of the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee
    • I voted to support this bill to add members to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee so more of our emergency personnel around the state have voice on this important panel. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.901 — An act relating to Health information technology and information exchange
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 2, was updated by the Senate. The House Health Care Committee reviewed the changes and recommended an additional amendment to establish a different oversight structure, which was approved unanimously by the House. I voted yes.
  • S.273 — An act relating to miscellaneous law enforcement amendments
    • This bill, which last passed the House on May 4, was reviewed by a conference committee, which made an amendment to update data collection for certain types of police calls. I voted to support the conference committee’s recommendations, which passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.675 — An act relating to conditions to release prior to trial
    • This bill, which was extensively amended by the Senate, became the vehicle for an amendment to include an education provision to incorporate restorative justice principles in schools. After looking at the amendment in the Education Committee, I voted to support the addition of this amendment. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.285 — An act relating to universal recycling requirements
    • This bill, which passed the House on May 7, was returned to the House with several amendments that change the timeline for implementation of the bill. After reviewing the amendment, I agreed with the Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee to pass this bill, which occurred on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.576 — An act relating to stormwater management
    • This bill, which first passed the House on February 21, was returned to the House after undergoing modification in the Senate. The Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee reviewed the proposal and moved to concur, which was supported on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.289 — An act relating to a registry for conservation rights and interests
    • This bill, which first passed the House on April 19, was returned to the House after being reviewed by a conference committee. The Energy and Technology Committee supported the bill, noting that the House’s original positions stood intact. I voted yes. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.780 — An act relating to portable rides at agricultural fairs, field days, and other similar events
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 21, underwent significant changes after moving through the Senate. The House Agriculture Committee supported the provisions incorporated by the Senate to ensure the safety and quality of amusement rides, and in turn changed the binding language to create more flexibility. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. I voted yes.

Saturday, May 12 — View full Journal

  • H.764 — An act relating to data brokers and consumer protection
    • I was off the floor at a conference committee meeting when this bill was debated and did not vote.
  • S.260 — An act relating to funding the cleanup of State waters
    • I was off the floor at a conference committee meeting when this bill was debated and did not vote.
  • H.711 — An act relating to employment protections for crime victims
    • I was off the floor at a conference committee meeting when this bill was debated and did not vote.
  • H.910 — An act relating to the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Act
    • I was off the floor at a conference committee meeting when this bill was debated and did not vote.
  • S.281 — An act relating to the mitigation of systemic racism
    • This bill, which first passed the House on May 2, was reviewed by a conference committee prior to passage. It is extremely important that we focus on addressing racism and issues of systemic bias within our State Government. I support this bill, as did the body, which approved it on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.
  • S.287 — An act relating to aquatic nuisance control
    • This bill, which first passed the House on May 7, was modified by the House prior to returning to the Senate. The House version was not modified in conference. As such, I voted to support the conference report, which passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.928 — An act relating to compensation for certain State employees
    • I was off the floor on a phone call and did not vote.
  • S.94 —  An act relating to promoting remote work
    • I was off the floor on a phone call and did not vote.
  • S.272 — An act relating to miscellaneous changes to laws related to motor vehicles
    • This bill, which passed the House on April 25, contained a number of transportation related provisions. Although the conference position receded from the House position, I agreed with the House Transportation Committee that we should vote yes. The bill passed on a mixed voice vote.
  • H.919 — An act relating to workforce development
    • This bill, which passed the House on March 20 and was later put into conference, was moved through the process to consensus. This important bill has a number of important economic development provisions. I joined the Conferees to vote yes. The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote.
  • H.696 — An act relating to establishing a State individual mandate
    • This bill, which first passed the House March 14 and again in April, proposes the creation of an individual mandate for health care. I joined the Conferees to support the bill, which does not impose any penalty on individuals who do not purchase health insurance. The bill passed on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.917 — An act relating to the Transportation Program and miscellaneous changes to transportation-related law
    • The annual transportation bill, which first passed the House on March 21 before going to a conference committee in May, came before the House with primary seatbelt law requirements stripped. I voted to support the conferee’s report, which passed on a mixed voice vote.
  • H.593 — An act relating to miscellaneous consumer protection provisions
    • This omnibus consumer protection bill, which first passed in January and again in May, was amended slightly by Conferees who looked at its provisions. After a presentation on the floor, the House passed the bill on a mixed voice vote. I voted yes.
  • H.911 — An act relating to changes in Vermont’s personal income tax and education financing system
    • This bill, which first passed the House on March 21, was originally developed and passed as an income tax and education finance proposal. When the bill first passed the House, I voted no, citing concerns about the income tax surcharge mechanism that it relied upon. That mechanism relied too heavily on a new tax, instead of developing structural changes. After moving to the Senate, the House and Senate formed a conference committee. The bill returns $21 million to Vermont property taxpayers by making changes to brackets, deductions, and exemptions for certain taxable social security benefits. The Earned Income Tax Credit is expanded. In addition to these changes, the bill sets equalized education tax rates. These rates are supported by changes to the revenue sources that populate the Education Fund — the General Fund Transfer is eliminated, which has long been problematic for its lack of transparency and officials’ interest to use it as a relief valve for education spending. The homeowner rebate program is separated into a municipal and education program. Additionally, tax bills will be separated to split municipal and education taxes. The bill passed on a vote of 89-43. After reviewing the bill, I found it to be more straightforward than the House version I originally voted against. I voted yes. The bill passed on a vote of 89-43.
  • H.924 — An act relating to making appropriations for the support of state government
    • This bill, which first passed the House on March 23, was moved to conference committee after the long road to adjournment. The bill provides funding for a number of initiatives, many of which I support, including the National Guard Tuition waiver program. A total of $5.8 billion is authorized in the bill, funding programs to protect the most vulnerable, affordability initiatives, economic and workforce development, and prudent measures to pay down long-term liabilities and fully fund our reserves. This was a very strong proposal that stays well beneath the growth rate requested by the Administration. I voted yes to support the bill. The bill passed on a strong tripartisan voted of 117-14. The Governor has indicated he may veto the budget to bring legislators back to discuss using one-time money to hold off expected property tax increases. If so, this will likely become the bill on which the most debate centers.