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VERMONT COALITION FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS

VCDR SUMMARIES of SELECTED Policy LEGISLATION of INTEREST

J.R.H.2 Resolution – No.114 Eugenics Apology Resolution J.R.H.2 Joint resolution sincerely apologizing and expressing sorrow and regret to all individual Vermonters and their families and descendants who were harmed as a result of State-sanctioned eugenics policies and practices. (Summary in title) https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/RESOLUTN/JRH002/JRH002%20Senate%20proposal%20of%20amendment%20Official.pdf Resolution as Adopted https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACTR114/ACTR114%20As%20Adopted.pdf

J.R.H.6 Resolution – No.113 Declaring Racism a Public Health Emergency J.R.H 6 States: “this legislative body commits to coordinating work and participating in ongoing action, grounded in science and data, to eliminate race-based health disparities and eradicate systemic racism.” (Summary in title) https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/RESOLUTN/JRH006/JRH006%20As%20adopted%20by%20the%20House%20Official.pdf Resolution as Adopted https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACTR113/ACTR113%20As%20Adopted.pdf

H.430 (Act 48) – An act relating to eligibility for Dr. Dynasaur – like coverage for all income-eligible children and pregnant individuals regardless of immigration status. https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT048/ACT048%20As%20Enacted.pdf § 2091. DR. DYNASAUR-LIKE COVERAGE; LEGISLATIVE INTENT In establishing Dr. Dynasaur-like coverage for children and pregnant individuals who are not eligible for the Dr. Dynasaur program because of their immigration status, it is the intent of the General Assembly that the hospital, medical, dental, and prescription drug benefits and eligibility criteria for the coverage set forth in section 2092 of this chapter should align to the greatest extent practicable with the benefits and eligibility criteria of the Dr. Dynasaur program Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT048/ACT048%20Act%20Summary.pdf Act No. 48 (H.430). Health; Agency of Human Services; Dr. Dynasaur-like coverage; children; pregnant individuals An act relating to eligibility for Dr. Dynasaur-like coverage for all income eligible children and pregnant individuals regardless of immigration status. This act requires the Agency of Human Services (AHS) to provide coverage equivalent to the coverage under the Dr. Dynasaur program to children and pregnant individuals who are not eligible for Dr. Dynasaur because of their immigration status. The coverage will become available beginning on July 1, 2022, subject to fiscal year 2023 appropriations. The act specifies that the same confidentiality provisions will apply to the new coverage as apply under the Medicaid program, except that it prohibits AHS from making information about applicants or enrollees available to the federal government.

H.210 (Act 33) An act relating to addressing disparities and promoting equity in the health care system and promotes equity in the health care system https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT033/ACT033%20As%20Enacted.pdf Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT033/ACT033%20Act%20Summary.pdf Act No. 33 (H.210). Health; equity An act relating to addressing disparities and promoting equity in the health care system. This act establishes the Health Equity Commission to promote health equity and eradicate health disparities among Vermonters, including particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color; individuals who are LGBTQ; and individuals with disabilities.

H.428 (Act 34) – An act relating to hate-motivated crimes and misconduct https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT034/ACT034%20As%20Enacted.pdf Summary
https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT034/ACT034%20Act%20Summary.pdf

Act No. 34 (H.428). Crimes and criminal procedures; hate crimes An act relating to hate-motivated crimes and misconduct. This act amends the statute related to hate-motivated crimes to clarify that the victim’s actual or perceived protected category or categories need not be the predominant reason or the sole reason for the defendant’s conduct in order to be subject to the enhanced penalty under the statute.

S.16 (Act 35) which creates the Task Force on Equitable and Inclusive School environments https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT035/ACT035%20As%20Enacted.pdf S.16 bans most suspensions and expulsions of students under age eight and creates the Task Force on Equitable and Inclusive School Environments. The Task Force membership includes designees of Vermont education associations such as the NEA and School Boards, two high school students, a teacher and a school counselor, and representatives from a cross section of restorative practice programs and advocacy organizations.
Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT035/ACT035%20Act%20Summary.pdf
Act No. 35 (S.16). Education; exclusionary discipline An act relating to the Task Force on Equitable and Inclusive School Environments.
This act creates the Task Force on Equitable and Inclusive School Environments, which shall make recommendations to end suspensions and expulsions for all but the most serious student behaviors and compile data regarding school discipline in Vermont public and approved independent schools in order to inform strategic planning, guide statewide and local decision making and resource allocation, and measure the effectiveness of statewide and local policies and practices. This act also prohibits a student enrolled in a public school who is under eight years of age from being suspended or expelled from the school; provided, however, that the school may suspend or expel the student if the student poses an imminent threat of harm or danger to others in the school..
S.3 (Act 57) – An act relating to competency to stand trial and insanity as a defense https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT057/ACT057%20As%20Enacted.pdf Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT057/ACT057%20Act%20Summary.pdf Act No. 57 (S.3). Crimes and criminal procedures; competency to stand trial and insanity defense An act relating to competency to stand trial and insanity as a defense. This act makes several changes to criminal proceedings related to the insanity defense and a criminal defendant’s competency to stand trial, including clarifying that the court-ordered independent psychiatric examination may evaluate the defendant’s competency or the defendant’s sanity, or both; clarifying that the examination will be conducted either by a psychiatrist (if the person’s incompetency or insanity is the result of a mental illness) or by a psychiatrist and a psychologist (if the person’s incompetency or insanity is the result of a developmental disability)…

S.128 (Act 18) An act relating to limiting criminal defenses based on victim identity. https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT018/ACT018%20As%20Enacted.pdf Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT018/ACT018%20As%20Enacted.pdf Act No. 18 (H.128). Crimes and criminal procedures; criminal defenses An act relating to limiting criminal defenses based on victim identity. This act prohibits a criminal defendant from introducing certain types of evidence relating to the victim’s identity under the defense theories of provocation, diminished capacity, or self-defense

H.145 (Act 27) – An act relating to amending the standards for law enforcement use of force, as enacted https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT027/ACT027%20As%20Enacted.pdf Act No. 27 (H.145). Public safety; law enforcement use of force An act relating to amending the standards for law enforcement use of force. This act amends the statutory statewide standard for law enforcement use of force, including deadly force, that was established in 2020 Acts and Resolves No. 165, and the associated unprofessional conduct statues that prohibit certain law enforcement conduct. The act reorganizes the standards for use of force and changes the definition of “chokehold” throughout various sections of law in Titles 13 and 20. Multiple effective dates, beginning on July 1, 2021 S.9 (Act 2) An act relating to extending certain workers’ compensation amendments related to COVID-19 https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT002/ACT002%20As%20Enacted.pdf Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT002/ACT002%20Act%20Summary.pdf Act No. 2 (S.9). Labor; workers’ compensation; COVID-19 An act relating to extending certain workers’ compensation amendments related to COVID-19 This act extends temporary authority for the Commissioner of Labor to issue guidance and adopt procedures to extend deadlines or temporarily amend or waive specific requirements related to workers’ compensation until 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency related to COVID-19. This act also extends certain rebuttable presumptions related to workers’ compensation coverage for illness or death resulting from COVID-19 that is diagnosed within the time period ending 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency related to COVID-19. Effective Date: February 3, 2021

H.171 (Act 45) – An act relating to child care systems and financing https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT045/ACT045%20As%20Enacted.pdf
It is the intent of the General Assembly:
(1) that immediate investments are necessary to support Vermont’s economy, ensure that all families with young children have affordable access to high-quality child care and early education, and that Vermont’s early childhood educators are fairly compensated and well supported; and (2) to continue and build upon the five-year redesign of the Child Care Financial Assistance Program that began in fiscal year 2020. Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT045/ACT045%20Act%20Summary.pdf This act amends the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) by assigning co-payments to an entire participating family versus by child, ensuring that families with an annual gross income of less than or equal to 150 percent of the current Federal Poverty Level (FPL) do not have a family co-payment, and increasing the upper limit of the income scale to 350 percent of current FPL. The act further amends CCFAP by specifying that the payment schedule established by the Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) may reimburse providers in accordance with the results of the most recent Vermont Child Care Market Rate Survey and that reimbursement rate caps be tiered in relation to provider ratings under the STARS program. The lower limit of reimbursement rate caps cannot be less than the 50th percentile of all reported rates for the same provider setting in each rate category.

H.360 (Act 71) – An act relating to accelerated community broadband deployment https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/BILLS/H-0360/H-0360%20As%20Passed%20by%20Both%20House%20and%20Senate%20Unofficial.pdf Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT071/ACT071%20Act%20Summary.pdf Act No. 71 (H.360). Broadband; Vermont Community Broadband Board An act relating to accelerated community broadband deployment. This act establishes the Vermont Community Broadband Board to oversee and manage the newly created Vermont Community Broadband Fund. In addition, it establishes preconstruction and construction grant programs for broadband projects, as well as centralized resources for communications union districts (CUDs). The act also limits eligible borrowers under the Broadband Expansion Loan Program to CUDs and to Internet service providers working in conjunction with either a CUD or a municipality that was not part of a CUD prior to June 1, 2021. The act creates a property tax exemption applicable to new fiber installations owned by an electric distribution utility, provided the fiber is leased to a CUD or an Internet service provider working in conjunction with a CUD. Finally, the act establishes several communications workforce initiatives.

H.106 (Act 67) – An act relating to equitable access to a high-quality education through community schools https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT067/ACT067%20As%20Enacted.pdf Summary https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT067/ACT067%20Act%20Summary.pdf Act No. 67 (H.106). Education; community schools; school meals An act relating to equitable access to a high-quality education through community schools This act provides funding for the implementation of community school programs that provide students with equitable access to a high-quality education and creates the Task Force on Universal School Lunch

BILLS OF INTEREST (Introduced but not passed)

H.265 Office of Child, Youth, and Family Advocate (as passed the House)
https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/BILLS/H-0265/H-0265%20As%20Passed%20by%20the%20House%20Unofficial.pdf
§ 3202. OFFICE OF THE CHILD, YOUTH, AND FAMILY ADVOCATE (a) There is established the Office of the Child, Youth, and Family Advocate for the purpose of advancing the interests and welfare of Vermont’s children and youths receiving services from the Department in a manner that addresses racial and social equity, including providing transparent and impartial oversight of the child protection and juvenile justice systems and promoting reforms necessary to better serve Vermont’s children, youths, and families. The Office shall act independently of any State agency in the performance of its duties.

H.243 – An act relating to the Working Group on Services for Adults with Autism https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/BILLS/H-0243/H-0243%20As%20Introduced.pdf
Subject: Human services; services for adults with autism; working group Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to establish the Working Group on Services for Adults with Autism.
House Human Services Committee Writes Letter to DAIL on Autism
On Tuesday, May 18th the Committee reviewed a letter drafted by Representative McFaun and Representative Wood regarding H.243 to the Department of Disabilities Aging and Independent Living. The letter states that action addressing services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder should not wait until next year’s legislative session when the bill will be considered by the Senate. In the interim, they are requesting that “DAIL convene a working group that includes relevant stakeholders including, but not limited to: adults with ASD; parents and other family members of adults with ASD; Green Mountain Self- Advocates; designated/specialized services agencies; DD Council; UVM Center on Disability and Community Inclusion; Disability Law Project of Vermont Legal Aid; a clinician with experience in ASD; interested legislators; other relevant AHS and Department staff.” They suggested that the working group convene a focus group of self-advocates and a separate group for family members.

H.266 – An act relating to an incremental approach to health insurance coverage for hearing aids https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/BILLS/H-0266/H-0266%20As%20Introduced.pdf Subject: Health; health insurance; hearing aids Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to require Medicaid, the State Employees Health Plan, and large group health insurance plans to provide coverage for hearing aids beginning in plan year 2022. It would also direct the Agency of Human Services to apply for federal approval to modify the essential health benefit package for Vermont’s individual and small group health insurance plans to include coverage for hearing aids beginning in plan year 2023.