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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in other legislation introduced during this Legislature or during past sessions, you can click here.
H.55: This bill proposes to require all Vermont nonprofit employers to participate in the unemployment insurance program, to require nonprofit reimbursable employers to provide security for the potential cost of unemployment benefits, and to amend the sunset for supplemental unemployment insurance benefits paid out pursuant to 2022 Acts 14 and Resolves No. 183.
H.56: This bill proposes to give the Public Utility Commission (PUC) jurisdiction over the construction and operation of utility model thermal energy networks. It would require the Commission to adopt rules on the permitting process for such operations. It prohibits the PUC from approving permits to expand natural gas service territory. It also directs the Commission to change the energy assistance program options for customers with low incomes and would require the Commission to adopt rules that include a tiered discount system.
H.60: This bill proposes to authorize the holder of a manufacturer’s or rectifier’s license to acquire not more than 20 fourth-class licenses.
H.61: This bill proposes to create an elective, entity-level income tax on pass-through businesses, such as S corporations and partnerships, that do business or have income derived from or connected with sources in Vermont. The pass-through businesses would be able to deduct the full amount of Vermont tax paid from the pass-throughs’ federal taxable income under the federal deduction for state and local taxes paid. This bill would provide an offsetting Vermont income tax credit to the individual taxpayer-member of the pass-through business, in the amount of 90 percent of the entity-level Vermont tax paid by the pass-through. Furthermore, this bill would allow a credit against the tax paid to another state that imposes a pass-through entity income tax that is substantially similar to the Vermont tax.
H.66: This bill proposes to create the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program within the Office of the Treasurer, to amend the Parental and Family Leave Act, and to provide job protected leave from employment for reasons related to domestic and sexual violence.
H.67: This bill would require that manufacturers of household products containing a hazardous substance participate in a stewardship organization and implement a plan to collect household products containing a hazardous substance free of charge to the public.
H.68: This bill proposes to do the following:
- create a Statewide zoning standard to treat duplexes as an allowed use in residential zoning districts and up to a four-unit building as an allowed use in areas of residential zoning districts served by municipal water and sewer;
- set a Statewide zoning standard for minimum parking at one per dwelling unit, allowing builders to determine if additional spaces are needed;
- create a Statewide zoning standard for a habitable floor density bonus for qualifying mixed-income residential development in areas served by water and sewer, allowing one extra floor to support mixed-income housing in compliance with the Fire and Building Safety Code;
- hold accessory dwelling units to the same or similar standards of review established by the municipality for a single-family dwelling;
- require that specific information be submitted to the Department of Housing and Community Development when municipalities adopt new zoning bylaws;
- allow towns to give their administrative officer authority to approve minor subdivisions and a hearing on them is not required;
- clarify existing law that the character of the area cannot be appealed in decisions on certain types of housing;
- require an appropriate municipal panel to provide reasons for adjusting dimensional requirements in permit decisions on housing;
- prohibit towns from requiring more strict energy codes than the State energy codes, except those with existing authority;
- prohibit deed restrictions and covenants that require minimum dwelling unit size and more than one parking space;
- require sellers to disclose if a property is located on a class 4 highway or legal trail;
- exempt wastewater projects from needing a State permit if the municipality can issue an authorization for it;
- require the Division of Fire Safety to prepare a report identifying potential revisions to the Vermont Fire and Building Safety Code to reduce the cost to develop housing;
- amend the Vermont Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act to permit the Human Rights Commission to refer potential violations of the Act to the Attorney General or a State’s Attorney for enforcement, to provide additional time for the Commission to bring an action to enforce the Act, and to increase the criminal penalty for a violation of the Act; and
- direct the Agency of Transportation to update the Vermont State road standards.
H.79: This bill proposes to make available from original manufacturers to consumers and independent repair providers the information, schematics, diagnostics, and repair manuals necessary to repair certain equipment.
H.81: This bill proposes to ensure the fair repair of agricultural equipment.
H.84: This bill proposes to clarify how indirect discharges of wastewater in the State are permitted, including compliance with the Vermont Water Quality Standards and the Agency of Natural Resources’ pending Antidegradation Implementation Rule.
H.91: This bill proposes to provide that an eligible employee may take leave under Vermont’s Parental and Family Leave Act to recover from the employee’s own serious injury or to care for a family member with a serious injury.
H.92: This bill proposes to establish additional instances in which an employee who voluntarily separates from employment may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
H.96: This bill proposes to establish the Clean Heat Standard to reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions from the thermal sector. The Clean Heat Standard shall be administered by the Public Utility Commission with assistance from the Clean Heat Standard Technical Advisory Group and the Equity Advisory Group.
H.101: This bill proposes to: (1) require the Agency of Transportation to present a written plan with recommendations on how to fund State efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase access to higher-efficiency, lower-cost transportation options; (2) create the Legislative Regional Transportation Climate Initiative Working Group to study regional climate initiatives such as the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program; (3) implement a self-funded feebate program based on pleasure car efficiency; (4) require the Agency of Transportation to assess motor vehicle fuel use in Vermont in order to identify the most effective actions to transition operators to plug-in electric vehicles; (5) appropriate money for the Mobility and Transportation Innovation Grant Program, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, and eBike Incentive Program; (6) require the Agency of Transportation to provide a written recommendation on a dedicated funding source for the local match required of public transit providers in Vermont; (7) make modifications to the Incentive Program for New PEVs and Replace Your Ride Program and the annual reporting requirements for the State’s motor vehicle incentive programs; (8) amend the State’s transportation planning policy related to greenhouse gas emissions and infrastructure resilience; (9) update the State’s complete streets policy and require the Agency of Transportation to provide municipalities with training on complete streets; (10) require the Agency of Transportation to update the Vermont State Standards; (11) require the Agency of Transportation to work with Amtrak, and other entities, on certain modifications to Amtrak service in Vermont; and (12) appropriate money to maintain zero-fare service on all urban public transit routes.
H.111: This bill proposes to make multiple changes related to housing investment and regulatory reform. It would amend the Vermont Rental Housing Improvement Program to expand eligible uses of funds and provide additional funding, amend the Missing Middle-Income Homeownership Development Pilot Program to expand geographic distribution of funds and provide additional funding, and create the Middle-Income Rental Housing Revolving Loan Program and a revolving loan fund to provide subsidized loans for rental housing developments that serve middle-income households. The bill would also amend the Municipal Bylaw Modernization Grant Program to exempt municipalities with populations of less than 1,500 persons from the grant requirement to implement the complete streets principals. It would appropriate funds to the Municipal Planning Grants with a portion of the grants reserved for municipalities that do not yet have a municipal plan or do not yet have zoning bylaws. The bill proposes to hire Housing Resource Navigators at the Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies for use by the regional planning commissions. It would exempt housing projects in downtowns and village centers with zoning from needing an Act 250 permit. It would remove the ability of residents or property owners to appeal municipal zoning decisions. It would allow towns to register with Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) to issue authorizations for wastewater permits, in lieu of the ANR permit. It would not require mitigation of primary agricultural soils under Act 250 for an alternative or community wastewater system that will serve development within a designated area.
H.114: This bill proposes to restrict the use of electronic monitoring of employees and the use of automated decision systems for employment-related decisions.
H.116: This bill proposes to: (1) amend the law protecting applicants for employment from inquiries regarding their current or past compensation by: (A) requiring employers to disclose the pay scale for a specific position or job title to applicants for employment and employees who currently hold that position or job; (B) prohibiting an employer from disclosing a current or former employee’s compensation history without the employee’s authorization unless the employee’s compensation is publicly available; and (C) if an employer learns an applicant’s current or former compensation, prohibiting the employer from using that information to reduce or otherwise limit the compensation offered to the applicant; (2) require employers with 10 or more employees to annually submit to the Department of Labor information regarding compensation paid to their employees that is broken down by gender and race and to require the Department of Labor to publish that information in a searchable format on a publicly accessibly website; (3) amend Vermont’s wage discrimination statute to prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of race or gender identity; (4) require employers to provide an employee with a minimum of 14 days’ notice of the employee’s schedule for each schedule period and prohibit employers from changing the employee’s schedule within that 14-day period unless: (A) the shift is cancelled due to certain unforeseeable circumstances; (B) the employee voluntarily agrees to alter the schedule; (C) the employer pays the employee for any scheduled work hours that are eliminated; or (D) the employer pays the employee a premium for any additional hours of work beyond the employee’s scheduled hours; and (5) require employers to reimburse an employee for any necessary expenses incurred by the employee within the scope of the employee’s work for the employer.
H.120: This bill proposes to repeal the sales and use tax exemption for prewritten computer software accessed remotely and tax vendor-hosted prewritten computer software.
H.121: This bill proposes to afford data privacy protections to Vermonters.
H.124: This bill proposes to provide additional funding and support to rural communities to ensure effective and equitable access to economic development resources.
S.23: This bill proposes to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on hair types and styles associated with a particular race and on the basis of weight.
S.24: This bill proposes to direct the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation to adopt rules to implement the Clean Fuels Program.
S.25: This bill proposes to (1) prohibit the manufacture, sale, and distribution in Vermont of cosmetic and menstrual products containing certain chemicals and chemical classes; (2) prohibit the manufacture, sale, and distribution in Vermont of textiles containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances; and (3) prohibit the installation of any new athletic turf field containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
S.42: This bill proposes to require the Vermont Pension Investment Commission to (1) on or before August 15, 2023, review the assets of the Vermont State Employees’ Retirement System, the State Teachers’ Retirement System, and the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System to determine the extent to which they are invested in the fossil fuel industry, and (2) on or before November 15, 2023, develop and submit to the House Committee on Government Operations and Military Affairs, the Senate Committee on Government Operations, and the Joint Pension Oversight Committee a plan to divest the investments of the Vermont State Employees’ Retirement System, the State Teachers’ Retirement System, and the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System from the fossil fuel industry by December 31, 2030. This bill also prohibits the Commission from investing the assets of the Vermont State Employees’ Retirement System, the State Teachers’ Retirement System, and the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System in the fossil fuel industry on or after July 1, 2031.