(Photo by Abby Ledoux)

MINORITY LEADER DON TURNER

The following two as well as a number of other bills passed this week. 

H.422, an act relating to removal of firearms from a person arrested or cited for domestic assault, passed this week after little debate and a unanimous vote of support. The Senate made a number of changes to improve a previous version that I could not support. The bill outlines in statute how law enforcement will remove firearms when a law enforcement officer arrests, cites or obtains an arrest warrant for a person for domestic assault in violation of this subchapter, the officer may remove any firearm: (A) that is contraband or will be used as evidence in a criminal proceeding; or (B) that is in the immediate possession or control of the person being arrested or cited, in plain view of the officer at the scene of the alleged domestic assault, or discovered during a lawful search, including under exigent circumstances, if the removal is necessary for the protection of the officer, the alleged victim, the person being arrested or cited, or a family member of the alleged victim or of the person being arrested or cited. You can find the entire bill on the Vermont Legislature website.

H.693, an act relating to the Honor and Remember Flag, is designated as the flag that recognizes those Vermonters who died during or as the result of serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. This designation will recognize their bravery and educate Vermonters about the sacrifices their fellow citizens have made to protect our nation. The Department of Buildings and General Services will establish a protocol for the flying of the Honor and Remember Flag and may accept donations of the flag to be flown on state-owned flagpoles. The Honor and Remember Flag may be flown on state- and municipally-owned flagpoles, including those at military facilities, war memorials and veterans cemeteries on such days as the Department of Buildings and General Services shall designate in the protocol. This bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.

 

Chris Mattos

Chris Mattos

REP. CHRIS MATTOS

Over the past couple weeks it has been a pleasure to have a few different groups at the State House. The 2018 indoor boy’s track team and 2018 state champion wrestler Nick Johnson were introduced for their accomplishments on the track and mat, respectively. It was also nice for me to meet with a former teammate on the MHS baseball team and now teacher at BFA-Fairfax, Mr. Joe Emery. Mr. Emery brought his two senior classes down to the State House to view some committee work and research a bill they were interested in by talking with legislators. I was happy to meet with a couple students and answer questions about H.897 regarding special education.

This past week the House voted unanimously to pass H.422. As quoted from the bill, “This bill proposes to require a law enforcement officer to confiscate a dangerous or deadly weapon from a Person who is arrested or cited for domestic assault if the weapon is (1) in the immediate possession or control of the person being arrested or cited; (2) in plain view of the officer; or (3) discovered during a consensual search.” This bill now heads to the governor’s desk, which he has indicated he will sign along with S.55 and S.221.

In the coming weeks I suspect the House may begin debate on the $15 minimum wage bill. The House Committee on General, Housing and Military affairs has been taking testimony this past week and has held a public hearing. I would enjoy hearing from the community via email or calls on this bill, S.40.