Legislation of Interest to Vermont Employers

The following are bills recently introduced that might be of interest to Vermont employers.  Text and other information about a bill’s status are available by clicking on the linked bill number.  Note that official statements of purpose might not fully reflect the purpose or effect of the bill.  If “SHORT FORM” is noted, the text of the bill is still pending.  If you have any questions about the bills listed below, please contact us at info@aivt.org.   If you are interested in other legislation introduced during this Legislature or during past sessions, you can click here.

H.58

Subject: Agriculture; commerce and trade Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to promote sustainable and affordable agricultural practices by requiring manufacturers of electronics-enabled equipment used in agriculture, animal husbandry, and ranching to make available to farmers, ranchers, and independent repair providers, on fair and reasonable terms, the documentation, parts, and tools used to diagnose, maintain, and repair such equipment.

Introduced by Representative Kornheiser of Brattleboro.

H.57  SHORT FORM

Subject: Commerce and trade; economic development

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to create a Council on the Economic Future of Vermont to develop an economic development plan that includes action steps and a timeline for Vermont to: (1) grow the majority of its food within five years; (2) strengthen and preserve the infrastructure to enable rural Vermont to thrive, including necessary policy changes; (3) increase Vermont household income to the top fifth in the nation; and (4) address and prevent adverse childhood experiences in Vermont. The Council will have 21 members, with 11 members appointed by the Administration, five by the House, and five by the Senate, and will meet monthly through January 2022. The bill provides funding to the Joint Fiscal Office for a contract to staff the work and manage performance and for per diem compensation for nonadministration members. The Council will deliver its economic development plan to the General Assembly on or before January 15, 2022 for consideration and approval.

Introduced by Representatives Yacovone of Morristown and Gannon of Wilmington.

H.47

Subject: Labor; employment practices; rights for reserve and National Guard members

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to provide a member of the National Guard serving on state active duty with the same leave rights and job protections that he or she is entitled to for service under federal authority. This bill also proposes to provide State employees with up to 15 days of paid military leave per year.

Introduced by Representatives Donahue of Northfield, Fagan of Rutland City, Goslant of Northfield, and Harrison of Chittenden.

H.42 SHORT FORM

Subject: Labor; employment practices; minimum wage

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to amend the minimum wage set forth in 21 V.S.A. § 384 to include a calculation for the amount expended by each employer to provide an employee with health insurance. The minimum wage for each employee shall be reduced by a prorated amount based on the employer’s annual cost to provide him or her with health insurance coverage up to a maximum reduction equal to the full annual cost of the premium for the lowest cost silver-level plan available through the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange.

Introduced by Representative Donahue of Northfield.

H.41

Subject: Health; employment; insurance; job protected leave for organ donors

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to add recovery from organ or tissue donation to the bases for family leave under Vermont’s Parental and Family Leave. This bill also proposes to prohibit a life insurance or health insurance company from limiting or declining to provide coverage to an insured based solely upon the status of the insured as a living organ or tissue donor.

Introduced by Representative Donahue of Northfield.

H.39

Subject: Conservation and development; Vermont Climate Council

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to require that the members of the Vermont Climate Council do not participate in matters in which they have a conflict of interest or appearance of a conflict of interest.

Introduced by Representatives Sullivan of Dorset, Batchelor of Derby, Beck of St. Johnsbury, Feltus of Lyndon, Graham of Williamstown, Lefebvre of Orange, Morgan, L. of Milton, Norris of Shoreham, Notte of Rutland City and Page of Newport City

H.38

Subject: Taxation; sales and use tax; candy

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to extend the Vermont Sales and Use Tax to the sale of candy.

Introduced by Representatives Donahue of Northfield and Till of Jericho.

H.37

Subject: Taxation; excise tax; sugar-sweetened beverages Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to impose an excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and to direct revenue from the tax to the Adverse Childhood Experiences Initiative Fund.

Introduced by Representative Till of Jericho.

H.34

Subject: Taxation; tax increment financing; indebtedness; debt service

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to authorize tax increment financing districts to use debt proceeds to make debt service payments.

Introduced by Representatives Kimbell of Woodstock and Fagan of Rutland City.

H.29

Subject: Labor; unemployment insurance; prospective employees; notification of ineligibility for benefits

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to require employers to notify prospective employees when employment with the employer will not make them eligible for unemployment benefits.

Introduced by Representatives Marcotte of Coventry and Campbell of St. Johnsbury.

H.28

Subject: Legislature; Joint Fiscal Office; livable wage Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to amend the definition of “livable wage” for purposes of the basic needs budget that is calculated at the beginning of each legislative biennium so that the livable wage is based on a family with two adult wage earners, two children, and no employer-sponsored health insurance.

Introduced by Representative McCullough of Williston.

H.27 SHORT FORM

Subject: Health; public health; perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances; labeling

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to require that food packaging, personal care products, and clothing containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) sold or distributed in Vermont bear a health and safety warning.

Introduced by Representative McCullough of Williston.

H.26

Subject: Health; public health; perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances; class B firefighting foam; food packaging; rugs and carpets

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to: (1) impose restrictions on the use, manufacture, sale, and distribution of class B firefighting foam containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances; (2) impose restrictions on the manufacture, sale, and distribution of food packaging to which perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, phthalates, or bisphenols have been added; (3) impose restrictions on the manufacture, sale, and distribution of residential rugs and carpets to which perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been added; and (4) include perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances on the list of chemicals of high concern to children.

Introduced by Representatives Dolan of Waitsfield, Squirrell of Underhill, Lefebvre of Newark, McCullough of Williston, Ode of Burlington, and Sheldon of Middlebury.

H.15

Subject: Agriculture; pesticides; water quality; chlorpyrifos; atrazine; glyphosate

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to prohibit the use, sale, or application of the pesticide chlorpyrifos and the use, sale, or application of the herbicides glyphosate and atrazine.

Introduced by Representative McCullough of Williston.

H.14

Subject: Conservation and development; solid waste; beverage container redemption

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to require the Secretary of Natural Resources to report to the General Assembly and the Vermont Climate Council regarding the effectiveness of the beverage container redemption system.

Introduced by Representative Harrison of Chittenden.

H.6

Subject: Public service; Public Utility Commission; net metering Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to require that the Public Utility Commission balance the costs and benefits to Vermonters when determining group net metering rates and to remove any cap on group projects.

Introduced by Representative Masland of Thetford.

H.4

Subject: Agriculture; pesticides; chlorpyrifos

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to ban the use, sale, or application of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Introduced by Representative Till of Jericho.