VTDigger is here to help you sort through the complexity.
We’ve launched a guide that organizes bills by topic for the 2017-2018 legislative biennium.
You’ll find the latest stories written by VTDigger’s five legislative beat reporters on more than 40 different bills — all organized by topic.
Find the bill tracker here.
In addition, each bill has a link to the status page on the Vermont Legislature website so you can see how legislation has moved through committees, and the floor of the House and the Senate.
The Judiciary icon, for example, lists more than a dozen bills on a variety of changes to state statute that affect the criminal justice system — everything from marijuana legalization to decertification of police to an ethics commission and expungement of criminal records.
Go to the Environment button, and you’ll see the latest stories about the Lake Champlain clean up funding initiative, corporate liability for toxic pollution and a proposed review of Act 250, the state’s land use law.
Education reforms continue to grind through the Legislature. You’ll find dozens of stories about attempts to change Act 46, the school district merger law, in the bill tracker.
Click on the Budget symbol, and you can see stories and links associated with the appropriations bill, the capital bill, the miscellaneous tax bill, the budget adjustment act and new state funding for the Vermont State Colleges.
Health care remains a hot topic in the Legislature as lawmakers attempt to find more money for poorly paid mental health workers, push hospitals to lower costs and expand workers compensation for first responders who have been traumatized on the job and need mental health services.
As part of an overhaul of Economic Development initiatives, lawmakers are also making changes to the classification workers, incentivizing workforce development and looking for ways to support the state’s commerce agency.
A number of bills in the first half of the legislative biennium will likely be taken up in 2018. Several bills that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour have been put on hold, and a paid leave bill that would give family members paid time off to care for a newborn or dying spouse is in limbo this session, but will likely be picked up again next session.
VTDigger is a nonprofit online news daily dedicated to public service journalism. We publish daily stories about Vermont politics, business, criminal justice, education, the environment and other matters of public concern.
VTDigger was founded in 2009 and merged with the Vermont Journalism Trust in 2011, becoming a 501(c)(3) educational charity.
The mission of the Vermont Journalism Trust and VTDigger is to produce rigorous journalism that explains complex issues, holds the government accountable to the public and engages Vermonters in the democratic process.