2021 Environmental Common Agenda
This week, Vermont Conservation Voters released the 2021 Environmental Common Agenda of legislative priorities. Check it out here! We worked with a growing list of partners to develop this year’s priorities.
The Common Agenda focuses on forward-looking investments and policies that can help address many of the pressing challenges we face, including these very real, timely needs:
- Helping people pay less for their transportation, heating, and electricity costs, while creating jobs and addressing the climate crisis
- Protecting public health by reducing people’s exposure to toxic chemicals, and holding toxic polluters accountable for the harm they cause
- Advancing environmental justice and equity initiatives
- Supporting our downtowns and villages, farms and forest lands, and natural areas
- Supporting policies that foster a healthy democracy
We presented the Common Agenda at a reception with partners and lawmakers at an event this week. We were also delighted to present the 2021 VCV Lifetime Achievement Award to former State Representative Mary Sullivan. Click here to watch a recording of the event and hear more about the 2021 priorities, and the impressive legacy of environmental champion, Mary Sullivan.
This week at the State House, progress continued on a range of policy issues.
On climate change, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Energy Committee continued its work on an effort to dramatically expand weatherization. The Transportation Committees continued to explore policies included in the Transportation Modernization Act – which would invest in programs to help people access more affordable, less polluting, and more convenient transportation options.
Click here to watch this week’s Climate Dispatch video where we talked with Jared Duval from the Energy Action Network and a member of the state’s Climate Council, to hear a brief update on legislative activity and the Climate Council – which is collecting ideas for participants on its Subcommittees. Visit the Council website for more details.
The Senate voted 22-8 to oppose the Act 250 Executive Order (EO) issued by Gov. Scott, which would restructure the Natural Resources Board. Our goal is for any Act 250 updates to happen through the legislative process, where we are prioritizing policies that will support healthy forests and sustainable outdoor recreation, better protect river corridors, and better incorporate equity and diversity principles.
The House Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee took several days of testimony on H.108, a bill that will clarify that wetlands are addressed in Vermont’s water laws and will require that projects with large wetland impacts be subject to a rigorous analysis that requires wetland impacts be avoided when alternatives exist.
We are also working to ensure Vermont maintains a healthy democracy. This year we are focused on making universal mail-in voting a permanent feature of Vermont elections. The Senate Government Operations Committee continued testimony on this concept this week.