State House Report March, 19th

Universal Health Care Moves to Senate Floor

The Universal Primary Care bill is heading to the floor of the Vermont Senate this week for an important vote – but VBSR is concerned that a last-minute amendment could derail this important progress

Please call or email your senators today and ask them to: Vote ‘YES’ on S.53, the Universal Primary Care bill, as passed by the Senate Health and Welfare and Senate Finance committees. It’s also important that you tell them to vote ‘NO’ on the Kitchel amendment.

While we appreciate the work of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Kitchel amendment would strip much of the bill away, leaving it only as a study of universal primary care, as opposed to the roadmap bill created and passed by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
This is URGENT because the vote will likely take place early this week. To find your senators’ contact information, please click here.

Given the short time frame, a phone call would be best, even if you have to leave a message. Messages for your senators when the State House is in session (business hours Tuesday-Friday) can also be left with the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms by calling 802-828-2228.

Why are we urging this action?

S53, as passed by Senate Finance and Senate Health and Welfare committees, is a true first step towards building a publicly funded universal health care system. It would create an operational plan to make primary care a public service, available without out-of-pocket costs to all Vermonters.

When you call, make sure you tell your Senator you want them to, “Pass S.53, the universal primary care bill as passed by Senate Health and Welfare and Senate Finance committees, and vote down the Kitchel amendment and Pass S53, the universal primary care bill.”

Rep. Yacovone: Carbon Pricing Deserves a Legislative Study

Rep. David Yacovone, D-Morrisville, wrote a great editorial last week for the Stowe Today newspaper about why he believes the state should appropriate money this year on an independent, non-partisan analysis of carbon pricing in Vermont.

“Carbon pricing calls for a tax on dirty fuels like gasoline and home heating fuel to discourage their use. Some plans call for increasing the cost of gas, and using the revenue to lower electric rates, in hopes of driving people away from one fuel to a cleaner one. It is similar to when states started to make recycling free while charging for trash to create an incentive to reduce the waste going into landfills,” he wrote.

Thank you, Rep. Yacovone! Read the rest of his editorial here.

Read more about the ESSEX Plan, a proposal created by VBSR businesses to use a price on carbon pollution to lower green electricity rates.

Feedback Needed on Business Experience in Energy Financing

The Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund and the Public Service Department are interested in finding out more about how businesses use the various clean energy financing products that are available for buildings, vehicles, systems improvements, or equipment.
What are you using? What are you not using? What is working? What is not?

Are there certain products that are missing and if they were made available, would we see more businesses complete more clean energy projects?

We will also be surveying contractors/installers and financial institutions. Ultimately, the information will be compiled into the 2018 Vermont Clean Energy Finance Report and will be repeated in 2019 and 2020.

Please help us by taking about 10 minutes to answer twelve questions on this topic.

Provide your e-mail and you’ll be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift certificate to Small Dog Electronics.

Please complete this by the end of the business day on Thursday, April 5.