During his inaugural address, Governor Shumlin outlined key agenda items to make Vermont a better place to live and work. The Governor and Legislature worked tirelessly during the first half of the 2011-2012 session to pass legislation that will improve the lives of Vermonters and keep our state competitive. These pieces of legislation have been signed into law by Governor Shumlin or passed at least one chamber of the Vermont legislature.
Improving Vermont’s access to broadband:
S. 78-Sets goals to extend high-speed Internet/cell phone coverage throughout Vermont by 2013
Reducing Health Care Costs For All
H 202-Creates framework for the first single-payer health care coverage in the nation, providing comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care to all Vermonters. An independent board will work with state government, health care professionals, businesses, and members of the public to create publicly financed health care coverage for all Vermont residents.
S15-Requires insurance companies to cover licensed midwives to home delivering babies.
S17- Up to 4 nonprofit dispensaries may sell marijuana to those on medical marijuana registry.
H446- Provides funds to facilitate replacing the 54-bed psychiatric hospital in Waterbury.
Improving educational access
H38- Allows Vermont to address educational gaps and problems faced by children whose parents’ military service requires frequent relocation.
S53- Removes limits on the number of pre-kindergarten students who may be included in a school district’s calculation for the purposes of figuring per-pupil spending
Getting Vermonters Back to Work
H287- Facilitates job creation through tax credits and incentives and new and amended economic development programs in the areas of workforce training, entrepreneurship, and the creative economy; access to capital, agriculture, housing, and development; and regional and statewide planning.
H275- Offers a $2,000 tax credit to businesses that hire an unemployed, recently returned military veteran or veterans starting their own businesses.
Agriculture and Wildlife:
S. 105- Allows use of raw milk to make food products for personal consumption
H. 66-Raises fines for illegal possession of wild meat and fish beginning July 1, 2012.
H. 91-Clarifies wildlife legislation, ensures safety of Pete the Moose
H446- Directs state government to reduce fuel for travel by 5% and increase use of renewable energy in state buildings
H56- Incentivizes renewable and clean energy usage through tax credits, loans, and energy development funding
H11- Creates system of disposal for prescriptions to avoid waterway contamination
S77- Requires testing for arsenic/other toxins on new wells/existing wells on properties for sale
S. 31- Supports Presidential election via popular vote
H 441- Continues 5% pay reductions for salaried state workers, legislators, judges, sheriffs and state’s attorneys and 3% pay reduction for members of state employee unions
S90- Requires the Agency of Human Services to recommend changes toward respectful language in state statute references to people with disabilities
H443- Allows the Transportation secretary to spend up to $2 million on emergency road repairs to address damage from recent weather
H88- Brings Vermont into national compact on standards for jurisdiction in child custody cases.
H 264- Creates mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drunken-driving offenders; makes it a crime to loan a vehicle to a drunk driver; directs studies for treatment and incarceration programs for repeat offenders.
S108- Seeks to save $1.6 million in Corrections budget by making offenders of some 600 nonviolent crimes eligible to serve their prison sentences on furlough at the discretion of the Corrections commissioner with approval from a judge
S73- Makes it a felony to elude a police officer and raises penalties, particularly when injury or death occur.
H153- Creates a crime of trafficking human beings
H236- Adds sex abuse of vulnerable adults to the list of felonies that may be prosecuted up to six years after the crime was committed
H443- Directs the secretary of transportation to develop a business plan to reduce or eliminate operating deficits at state airports that don’t provide daily commercial service
H446-Directs state officials to make bicycle parking part of the design of future state projects