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2020 Town Meeting Report

March 2, 2020


Here is a link to the 2020 Town Meeting Report from Theresa and me.

Also, here’s a quick recap of the bills that have been passed through the House prior to our Town Meeting Break:

H.254 – An act requiring adequate shelter for livestock. This bill updated definitions for adequate “constructed” shelters and adequate “natural” shelters and requires that any leash, rope or chain used to restrict an animal be used so that it does not entangle the animal and it must still allow access to shelter, food and water.

H.555 – An act relating to food concessions on state property or buildings. This bill allows the Department of Buildings and General Services to adopt rules governing the sale of food concessions on state properties for nonprofit organizations; previously this has been prohibited.

H.580 – An act relating to classification for criminal offenses. This bill sets up a classification system (Class A – Class E) for criminal offenses, including maximum fines and imprisonment for each.

H.635 — An act relating to long term care facilities. This bill strengthens the receivership laws for long term care facilities when the State takes control of such facilities due to health and safety of residents.

H.926 – An act relating to changes to Act 250. Act 250 is Vermont’s land use law; the current law is now 50 years old having been enacted under the administration of Governor Deane Davis. This bill modernizes the act, including streamlining of permitting in designated downtowns and villages.

H.934 – An act relating to renter rebate reform. This bill significantly streamlines the renter rebate program for very low income Vermonters, as well as simplifying the administration of the program in the Tax Department.

S.23 – An act relating to increasing the minimum wage. This was a bill that passed the House and Senate earlier this year and was vetoed by the Governor. The Senate overrode the veto a couple of weeks ago and this week the House did as well on a vote of 100-49. This bill is now law and the minimum wage will raise to $12.55 over the next two years and then it is indexed to consumer prices. The bill does not go to $15.00/hour which was under debate last year.

S.54 – An act relating to the regulation of cannabis. This bill implements a tax and regulate system for cannabis. Cannabis was legalized in Vermont in 2018. The total taxation on the product is 20% through a combination of sales and excise taxes. Prevention and education efforts will utilize up to 30% of tax receipts. Towns will have the option to “opt in” to retail sales establishments.

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