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Legislative Notes for April 28, 2011

April 22, 2011

As we move closer to adjournment it seems as though we have hit the calm before the storm.  The Senate is now taking up the many important bills that have already passed the House.  This is always an interesting time because many members become personally attached to the bills that pass out of their committees.  Therefore, when the Senate makes a change to a bill, for better or worse, some members consider it a personal attack on their work and that of the committee of jurisdiction.   It is pretty amusing to see how frustrated and upset some people get during this part of the process.  I have never gotten that attached to a piece of legislation.  My goal is and has always been to make things better for your family and mine.  I wonder sometimes if my efforts are actually making a difference.

Even though it was pretty quiet in the House this week, several bills did come up for action.  There are also some interesting developments taking place in the committees and around the building.  Much of the floor activity pertained to updating existing statutes.  We updated the vital records laws to protect citizens from identification fraud, the E911 system and the voting process by standardizing ballots and using tabulator machines in large communities.  These bills all passed by voice vote.  The Senate modified the House’s version of the transportation and capital bills to the point where each committee of jurisdiction could not accept the changes.  This resulted in the formation of conference committees for each bill, three members from the Senate and three members from the House will now attempt to resolve the differences of opinion.  The Governor has flexed his power several times over the last few weeks and each time it has led to last minute changes to proposed legislation much to the ire of many.  This happened last week with the $.55 charge on electric meters and again this week with the cigarette tax.  It will be interesting to see how this action impacts the supermajority as we move toward adjournment.

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of visiting with Kim Dellinger of Milton Community Youth Coalition, Lisa and a group of students from the Milton Elementary school.  They were at the Statehouse celebrating Prevention Day.  Hosting family, friends and constituents at the Statehouse is one of the things that I enjoy most about serving in the legislature.  If you would like to visit the Statehouse please feel free to contact me to arrange a date and time.

As your representative, I look forward to representing you and your concerns in Montpelier. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. I am very interested in hearing from you. During the session, I can be reached at the Statehouse by calling 1-800-322-5616 or by cell at 373-5960. My e-mail address is dturner@leg.state.vt.us. My web-site address is www.donturnerjr.com. Thank you and have a great week.

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