Legislative Update: Week 3
In the third week of the legislative session, lawmakers have been taking testimony and started voting on several bills we’re following. Environmental initiatives remain front and center – and we continue to work to build support for enacting clean water funding, toxic chemical reforms, climate action, and healthy forests.
CLEAN WATER: #CleanWaterVT
This week, the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee continued working on a bill that would create a Clean Water Authority to raise funds and distribute money for clean water projects. Today, we stood alongside municipal, business, and environmental groups in support of improving and enacting this legislation. You can help build support for this concept by signing the petition calling for action on clean water this year. Also worth noting: a dam safety bill we support (H.554) passed the House and is on its way to the Senate.
Legislation to put a price on carbon pollution and rebate money via Vermonters’ electric bills – with extra rebates for low-income and rural Vermonters – was introduced. Stay tuned for how that conversation plays out in the coming weeks and learn more about the ESSEX Plan here.
Testimony began on a bill we support that would improve energy efficiency standards for certain appliances (H410).
Check out last week’s Dispatch from the State House, which features legislative climate champion Rep. Mary Sullivan and our friends at VNRC. Stay tuned for weekly updates each Friday. You can follow the conversation using the hashtag #ActOnClimateVT on Facebook and Twitter.
This week, testimony began in the Senate Health & Welfare committee on toxic chemical reform legislation (S.103), which stalled out at the end of the last legislative session. VCV testified in support and called for swift action on the bill. We hope a vote happens soon, and will keep you in the loop.
Testimony also began this week on a bill to give Vermonters better legal tools to protect themselves if they’ve been harmed by toxic contamination, such as the PFOA contamination of water supplies our neighbors in North Bennington are experiencing (S.197). Testimony is scheduled to continue next week – stay tuned!
The Senate Agriculture committee voted out a bill related to forestry (right-to-practice forestry, S.101), which will be on the Senate floor for a vote today. We’ll be pushing to ensure all forest-related legislation is adequately protective of our natural resources while also supporting working lands. We will also continue advocating for action on legislation (H.233) that would improve how Act 250 addresses forest fragmentation.
Thank you, as always, for making your voice heard on these critical initiatives now and throughout the session. We’re at the State House nearly every day, but we can’t do this work without your support in local communities throughout Vermont!