We are now into the third week of the 2021 session. We are all working remotely, and are getting comfortable working in this manner.
Bills that are being introduced on a daily basis are being sent to the appropriate committees for consideration. One bill, H.48-An act relating to authorizing alternative procedures for 2021 annual municipal meetings (e.g., Town Meeting), in response to COVID-19 has already passed both the House and Senate and was delivered to the Governor on Jan. 15 for his approval. If the Governor signs this Bill into law, all municipalities will be notified, and then will be able to decide on how they want to proceed with their annual meeting.
In my Committee (Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife), we will be working on updating Act 250 early on in the session.
A Bill that I think is interesting that was sent to our Committee is H.5-An act relating to hearing protection while hunting. This would allow for a noise suppressor that would reduce the noise of a gunshot by approximately 20 to 35 decibels to a safer, more protective level of hearing. It would not silence the gunshot. Approximately 40 States authorize the use of suppressors while hunting.
Thank you for your time. Be safe and enjoy the winter.
This past Wednesday was the first day of the Vermont Legislature’s 2021 session. For the period beginning now until Town Meeting Day, we have voted to stay in session via remote means (Zoom to be exact). As early March approaches, we will be looking at the status of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and where we sit as a state in regard to the virus. Legislative leadership will remain in close contact with Governor Scott and Vermont’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mark Levine to navigate the road ahead as the session progresses and seek further guidance.
On Wednesday, all elected officials in the House and Senate were sworn in for the 2021-2022 Biennium. That same day, committee assignments were given out. Incumbent Representative Leland Morgan remains on the Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee. I was assigned to the Corrections and Institutions Committee. Bills will be forthcoming shortly and we will have various agencies testifying on pending legislation.
There was a first reading on a handful of initial bills. There are many, many more pending for introduction. My hope is that we focus, primarily on bills that aid in economic recovery from the pandemic. Additionally, we need to look hard at how we can reduce the (nearly) 200 million state deficit that we face.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and I am hopeful for a great 2021! Stay safe and stay healthy.
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