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Legislative Notes for February 23, 2012

February 17, 2012

There was a fairly light work load on the House floor this week. H.558 the 2012 budget adjustment act came back from the Senate with some changes that the leadership didn’t like. As a result the Speaker formed a committee of conference to attempt to resolve the differences between the legislative bodies. I didn’t support the bill when it was voted out of the House a few weeks ago and unfortunately I don’t see any hope of supporting it in the future.

H.758 an act relating to divorce and dissolution proceedings was passed on a voice vote this week. This bill makes it much easier for out-of-state couples to get a divorced or to dissolve a civil union. The new law waves the six month residency requirement and allows the action to take place immediately as long as there are no outstanding issues between the couples. The impetus for this change in law came from couples that live in a state that does not recognize civil unions or civil marriages. Prior to passage of this law, these couples had no way to legally end the relationship. This law defines the new procedures required for the court system to handle these types of requests.

H.512 an act relating to banking, insurance, securities and health care administration also passed the House this week. This is an annual housekeeping bill that came out of my commerce committee on a unanimous vote. The bill tweaks statute in areas that are meant to improve the overall operation of this agency. However, there were some substantial changes this year in preparation of Vermont’s single payer healthcare system. This bill removes most health care functions from this agency and puts them under the Green Mountain Healthcare Board. It is becoming more and more apparent that the Green Mountain Healthcare program that Governor Shumlin has championed is here to stay, no matter how much it cost.
The next two weeks will be very busy as we prepare to adjourn for the week of Town Meeting Day. No additional information to report on the Milton TIF audit this week.

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 email address is dturner@leg.state.vt.us. My web-site address is http://www.donturnerjr.com. Thank you and have a great week.

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