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The Real Crossover

by Andrea on Apr 8th, 2007

Welcome to the new Public Policy Blog! Please give us feedback on the new format...we know change is hard but let’s give it a shot. If you want to comment, check out the discussion on this blog in our new forums.

This blog will replace the "Policy e-notes" of this winter. If you want to read those they can still be found here

So...WELCOME...and let’s hear from you soon! 

Week of April 2-April 6, 2007

You would have thought it was "crossover" at the statehouse this week (that was actually a few weeks back). Much time was spent this week on the floor working to get big bills over to the other body. 

The two energy bills crossed over but not without some dealing that watered them down significantly...

  • S.94, the “all-fuels” energy bill that we have been advocating for had its funding striped out by the Senate. The bill passed 27-3 with promises by Senate leadership that funding will be found before the bill leaves the building.  Coming up with something the Governor can support will be a challenge...
  • H.520, the renewable energy bill passed the House 138-8 after much behind the scenes negotiating on the tax rate that would be levied on commercial wind projects. House Natural Resources wanted it to be .003 cents per kwh, the House Ways and Means wanted to double that to .006 cents kwh.  The House settled on .00525 cents per kwh with talk that it will be lowered by the Senate.

Stayed tuned…

The early childhood education bill, H. 534, passed the House intact even though there was a failed attempt (54 votes to 84 votes) to amend the bill to cap the amount of the education fund going to preK education in future years to 2007 levels.

The "gas guzzler" bill passed House Transportation this week. VBSR testified in support of the bill, as well as member NRG Systems represented by Barton Merle-Smith. Barton impressed committee members with all the innovative work NRG does to help employees reduce energy consumption.

The attempt by the House to over-ride the Governor’s veto of the budget adjustment bill failed by three votes. All the talk after the election of a "veto-proof" majority was obviously just talk...

Coming up this week...

  • VBSR will testify on Thursday at 2:00 in support of the S.94 (with funding!).  We are scheduled between the Associated Industries of Vermont and the Vermont Fuel Dealers…(ouch).
  • It is likely that later in the week we will be in House Judiciary in support of the Gender Identity Nondiscrimination bill, S. 51 which has already passed the House. Thought this bill would fly this year but some concerns are starting to be raised.

Please join me to testify on these, or any bills. I enjoy the company and the legislators really prefer hearing from real people and real businesses...

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