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Contractor Registry Bill
S.163 – Passed the Senate on a close vote. There was one change made and as the bill left the Senate, registration will be required if a job entails more than $2,000 in labor and materials. This bill now moves on to the House. It missed the “crossover” deadline to be considered in the relevant House committees so it isn’t certain it will pass this year.
The Toxins Bill
S.37 - This strict liability and medical monitoring bill passed the Senate and is now in House Judiciary. This bill will be the focus of work for the upcoming week. We will be working closely with House Judiciary members before this bill moves on to the House Commerce for further consideration.
Workforce Development Bill
This Summary outlines the areas in this bill that are of interest to HBRA as there are proposed increases in funding and training for workforce development. On Friday, Jon Guiffre testified on behalf of HBRA and was well-received in the Senate Economic Development committee. Chair Michael Sirotkin announced that his presentation was compelling. The committee wants HBRA to bring forth language that would be included in H.533 for a workgroup that would meet post-session to outline a proposal for legislation that would set up a long-term training effort for needed trade skills.
Updated Act 250 Draft
Little activity this week in House Natural as the committee failed to carve out the appeals section of the bill and send that on to House Judiciary as expected. The committee bill proposes to revert back to a board model for appeals as opposed to the current Superior Court model. The committee did make some progress on the discussion of eliminating the current Act 250 exemption for slate quarries, almost all of which are in Rutland County. The Natural Resources Board will establish a working group comprised of slate quarry owners, residential neighbors and local government to address any Act 250 concerns and bring proposals back to the committee on how the industry will come into compliance.
Paid Family Leave
H.107 passed the House on a vote of 92-52. This gives the Governor the margin he needs to support a veto, should he decide to take that step. Governor Scott has been advocating for a voluntary Paid Family Leave initiative in collaboration with New Hampshire. In pushback to the House Paid Family Leave Bill (H.107) we have joined like-minded groups who have expressed concern for the payroll tax as well as the challenge to find staff to cover the work of employees who would take unexpected extended family leave. This bill will now move to the Senate. Details regarding the status of this bill can be found in this article.
Residential Building Energy Standards
We are building support to have an RBES enforcement working group put into a bill so HBRA can help guide constructive work in enforcing current requirements before creating new burdens on the building industry.
Association Health Plans (AHP)
H.524 Hasn’t been considered yet in the Senate. On March 28th a court rulingchallenging the future viability of AHP’s was issued in DC. This may weaken our efforts to defend these plans in Vermont but we are working with others to see how this decision affects our active AHPs.
S.108 - While the changes proposed here may result in more complaints being acted upon against employers who are inappropriately misclassifying employees, there is nothing in this bill that opens the door to changing the definition of independent contractor.