The ninth week of the legislative session was primarily spent in committee, where House members worked in their respective policy areas. A variety of policy bills will move to the floor the week of March 18th for debate. Money bills (including the Budget bill, Capital bill, Tax bill, Fee bill, and Transportation bill) will head to the floor the following week.

The Education Committee has spent the last month reviewing a Senate bill (S.40) that proposes a process to test for lead in Vermont school water systems and child care centers. The Committee is working with the Administration, including the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and education stakeholders, to identify the best path forward. The health and safety of our students is a top priority. I will share updates as this bill advances through the process.

Another bill that the Education Committee has worked on is how student records should be managed after closure of an independent college. Student records contain confidential information that require proper management. This issue was first in the spotlight after the sudden closure of Burlington College in 2016. At the time, the Vermont Agency of Education stored the records as a stopgap measure to secure them. With more private colleges in jeopardy of closing, we are working to develop a bill to create a more formal process for managing student records.

Many bills are moving to the floor now that we’ve passed the midpoint of the 2019 session. We want to hear from you as things move forward. We are holding our monthly community coffee meeting at 2:00pm this Sunday, March 17 at Nest Coffee and Bakery (17 Main Street). Please join us and let us know about your priorities. I hope to see you there!