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Legislative Notes for March 7, 2013

March 1, 2013

As we approach the Town Meeting break, I have spent a considerable amount of time this week organizing information for caucus members to distribute at their town meetings. This is a very important part of my role as Minority Leader. Since most members of the caucus are working on specific issues within their assigned committee they are not always aware of what bills are being discussed or moving in other committees. It is my job to ensure that everyone in the caucus understands each bill that comes onto the floor for action. This has helped me get a much better and broader understanding of the proposed bills and their implications on you the taxpayer.
There was a lot of talk about taxes this week. I have found that as of this date there are proposals to raise the gas tax, tax home heating fuel, raise the education tax, creating a new tax on sugar beverages, increasing the rooms tax by 1%, increasing the fuel gross receipts tax by .5% and taxing break open tickets by adding a 10% sales tax per ticket. If all of these were to be passed, it would raise approximately $102 million of new revenue for the State of Vermont. It is unlikely that all of these proposals will pass and the only increase passed to date is the education tax. I did not support this increase and hope that we can find ways to control spending in the future, rather than to raise taxes.
On Friday, we had many guests at the Statehouse. The guests were present for the adoption of a resolution that recognized Milton’s 250th Anniversary. A short presentation in the Cedar Creek Room ensued where Vice Chairman of the Select Board Darren Adams, John Lindsay Chair of the 250th Committee, Rep Ron Hubert, Rep Bob Krebs and Lt. Governor Phil Scott spoke. The guests were then treated to light snacks in the cafeteria and a tour of the Statehouse. I want to thank Brian Lauziere of Mountain Transit for providing the bus to transport the Groovy Lunch bunch to the event, Harjit Dhaliwal for taking photographs, SelectBoard Members Darren Adams and John Gifford, Town Manager Brian Palaia, Recreation Director Kym Duchesneau, Asst. Director Ben Nappi, 250th Committee Members John Lindsay and Erica Gallagher, Milton Independent Editor Courtney Lamdin and Reporter Jackie Cain for their participation in the event. I also want to take this opportunity to thank my Aunt Lorraine Turner and everyone else that took the time to make the trip to Montpelier. I hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as I did. Thank you.
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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