MINORITY LEADER DON TURNER

As the session enters the fifth week, we are starting to see more bills come to the floor. This week, H.132, limiting landowner liability for posting the dangers of swimming holes; H.271, administration of the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP); and H.410, adding products to Vermont’s energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment, all passed with little debate. H.132 adds a provision to current law in an attempt to indemnify landowners who post warning signs about dangerous swimming areas on their property. From the debate, I learned that a number of people have drowned over the years on private property. Landowners are being forced to post their land to protect themselves from potential liability. This bill provides some protection to the landowner as long as they post a warning sign at the swimming hole.

The purpose of the SNAP program is to alleviate hunger and malnutrition among households with low income by increasing their food purchasing power and access to nutritious safe food. H.271 gives the commissioner more authority in governing the program and adds legislative oversight. H.410 requires that a number of appliances now have to meet the state’s energy standards. Items such as: commercial dishwashers, fryers and air compressors along with a number of other appliances that were previously excluded. I voted yes on all of these bills even though I dislike components in each of them.

This week Chris LaFrance, Leroy Turner, Tony Moulton, Addison Brown and the state champion MHS girls soccer team along with coach Shawntel Burke and her assistants visited the State House. I find recognizing our Milton kids for their achievements is one of the most rewarding parts of my job serving in the legislature.

Thank you for your continued support.

REP. CHRIS MATTOS

As the month of January came to a close for the first month of the session, the House Committee on Education continues to hear testimony related to special education. We have head from parents, teachers, special education instructors, principals and directors to name a few. We also continue to hear about career and technical education, pre-kindergarten education and post-secondary education. Things will continue to pick up as more develops related to education funding the House Ways and Means Committee is working on.