Legislative Update – Town Meeting Week
|This Town Meeting Week, we’re at the mid-point of the 2018 legislative session, and want to provide an update on where top priority VCV legislation stands:
CLEAN WATER: #CleanWaterVT
A bill related to how to fund long-term clean up of state waters (S.260) has passed through the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Finance committees. We continue to push for the legislation to identify a publicly accountable entity to collect and distribute clean water funds, as well as determine how the money will be raised and ensure it will be spent on the highest priority clean water projects.
We continue to call on the House Appropriations Committee to allocate the funding necessary to conduct a fair and full study of carbon pricing and related policies to help Vermonters transition off fossil fuels. We also are working to ensure proposed legislation will benefit, not undermine, our successful energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont.
Learn more about what’s happening on energy and climate change in our Climate Dispatch from the State House – available here – and posted every Friday of the legislative session. Stay up-to-date by tuning in to the hashtag #ActOnClimateVT on Facebook and Twitter.
Last week, we were excited that the Senate Judiciary committee voted 4-1 in favor of S.197, a bill that gives Vermonters better legal tools to protect themselves if they’ve been impacted by toxic chemical contamination – like our neighbors in Bennington who have been drinking PFOA-contaminated water. This bill continues to generate strong opposition from industry groups who would rather Vermonters and taxpayers pay for the long-term costs of their pollution. Sign the petition to Senators to support this bill to put Vermont families first!
Another bill, S.103, that requires new drinking water wells to be tested for toxic contaminants, and improves the Toxic-Free Families Act to better protect children from toxic chemicals (read about it here), is awaiting final approval from the House. We will continue to push for swift action so this bill can be sent to the Governor’s desk soon!
This The Senate Natural Resources & Energy committee passed a “rural economic development” bill, S.276, out of committee with policies related to promoting outdoor recreation and boosting the purchase of automated and efficient wood heating systems. Other committees, including House Agriculture & Forestry, continue to look at additional policies related to forest policy. We are working to ensure the range of policies under consideration in the Legislature will support our working lands, recreational opportunities, and protect our natural resources.