The bill would have allowed greater flexibility to respond to Act 46. The panel voted it down 9-2 after a brief revival.
Some said Act 46 had caused deep divisions in their communities and implored lawmakers to trust local people instead of pushing another top-down approach.
Whether the state will choose partnership and collaboration with communities in order to achieve the goals of Act 46 — or choose to entrench in rigidity will be decided in what remains of the legislative session.
It plans to continue work on an alternative that would offer school districts new options while stopping short of making it easier for them to avoid merging.
The legislation would help districts comply with the law through “alternative structures” if they don’t readily fit into a merger. By one count, 82 towns face that challenge.
Sen. Philip Baruth wants to continue gathering ideas before crafting legislation. The panel has received one lawmaker’s proposal and input from the Vermont School Boards Association.
House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs revives bill requiring employers to offer paid leave to workers.
The legislation that would have prohibited companies from penalizing employees who use sick leave time failed in the Senate on Tuesday.
The Vermont Retail & Grocers Association opposes legislation, arguing that employers should decide benefits packages to suit their own needs and business models.
Bill would grant 56 hours of leave to Vermont workers to deal with illness or other emergency situations.
Along with the governor’s plan to raise $86 million to boost Medicaid payments, lawmakers will consider health care issues including dental practitioners, paid sick leave, and more.