As noted last month, Governor Scott is re-focusing his administration on getting more
Vermonters back to work and keeping more young Vermonters in the state as part of that
Vermont’s regional technical centers are the most important training grounds for both
new employees and new customers. The legislators who attended the Legislative
Breakfast and Bright Futures event at VTC on March 20 were very impressed with the
students and the opportunities they have in the building trades. Those who could not
attend did confirm that they will be working on expanding opportunities to the younger
grades, perhaps by amending existing law in a general education related bill. We are
working with legislators to find a place to put that type of new authority for our schools.
The House Commerce Committee is revisiting the issue of workforce development this
week, with a new report on technical education coming out of April 5. I will share that
with the membership when it is available.
Small Claims Jurisdictional Increase
S.33 passed the Senate last week on a voice vote, with the increased jurisdictional
limit for small claims intact. It is now being sent to the House Judiciary Committee
for testimony. None has been set on the bill as of this writing, but the VRLDA survey
information will be important to explain the need for this increase to the representatives
on the committee. Please take 5 minutes and answer the short survey to help VRLDA as
we advocate for this increase
Other issue—Dept of Motor Vehicle fee increases likely
Late last week, the House voted to increase DMV fees across the board by 20%. This was
added to H.479, the Transportation Bill (one of the three ‘must pass’ bills, the other two
being the Budget and the Capital Construction Bill). The fees have not gone up since 2016. The reasoning behind the increase was to have more money to fund the state match for transportation projects. With no testimony being given on that issue, it is hard to say if that is an accurate statement. Of note is that DMV itself requested fee reductions on many fees as part of S.99. This bill now goes to the Senate for review. The Legislature will have to decide which way it wants to go on this issue.