Leonine: The trickle down effect

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Leonine: The trickle down effect

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 4:04pm -- tim



Leonine Public Affairs The campaign announcements kept on rolling in week two of the 2020 legislative session. Senator Debbie Ingram, D-Chittenden, formally announced her campaign for lieutenant governor, joining Senate president Tim Ashe, D-Chittenden, in the primary race. The announcement means two of the six Senate seats from Chittenden County will be vacant. Representative Dylan Giambatista, D-Essex, a deputy leader in the House announced his candidacy for the Senate as did former Burlington Democratic representative Kesha Ram. Two vacant seats in the Chittenden County Senate District creates the possibility for a somewhat crowded field with the likely addition of Progressive and Republican Party candidates down the line.

Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, a progressive Democrat, formally announced his candidacy for governor on Monday. His intention to run had been leaked a week before, which set off the chain reaction of campaign announcements for down ticket races. Zuckerman will face former secretary of education Rebecca Holcombe in the Democratic primary. The winner will likely face Governor Phil Scott, although he has yet to announce whether he will run for reelection.

The House and Senate reached an agreement in a conference committee on H.107, a bill that creates a paid family and medical leave insurance program in Vermont. Advocacy groups that have championed the initiative expressed concern that the conference bill does not provide temporary disability insurance or enough public oversight of the program. The Senate voted on Friday to approve the conference committee report and the House will vote this week.

The Senate approved the Committee of Conference report on H.107, the paid family and medical leave bill, on a vote of 20-9.

The governor has indicated he intends to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

The second annual Tourism Day was held in the statehouse on Wednesday and representatives from the tourism sector arrived in force. Among the topics highlighted was the growing rural creative economy, which includes music, the arts, Vermont crafts and cuisine. Another discussion related to the rural economy got underway with the release of the Rural Health Service Task Force report. The report addresses a broad array of challenges facing healthcare in rural areas and one of the main focuses is rural health workforce. The report recommends creating incentives to stimulate the rural health workforce including loan repayment, tax incentives and more streamlined licensing requirements.

The bulk of legislative committees spent the week reviewing legislation that carried over from last year and going through reports and newly introduced bills. Governor Phil Scott will give his budget speech next Tuesday, January 21. Once the budget is announced the legislative session will get fully underway as legislative leaders and committees will begin the process of working through the proposal.


State and Federal Friction on Clean Energy 

Over the past three years, the Trump Administration has been undertaking a massive rollback of federal environmental regulations, to the applause of Republicans and the chagrin of Democrats. As of December 2019, at least 58 environmental rules had been completely rolled back, while another 37 rollbacks were in progress. These rollbacks have affected multiple areas of policy, including air pollution, water quality, drilling and extraction. The administration contends that these repeals are necessary to stimulate the economy and remove barriers to business, but at the state level, opponents are taking action against them.

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Source: Leonine Public Affairs, Montpelier, Legislative Report Week 2. January 17, 2020. leoninepublicaffairs.com. 

Through a special arrangement with Leonine, Vermont Business Magazine republishes Leonine's legislative report on vermontbiz.com.