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Vermont Legislature
Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Here Are The Bills Scott Signed, And The Ones He's Run The Clock Out On

Gov. Phil Scott, seen here in 2018 signing several controversial gun bills into law at a table outside the Vermont Statehouse, while others look on.
Emily Alfin Johnson
VPR file
Gov. Phil Scott signs three pieces of gun control legislation amid boos and cheers on the front steps of the Statehouse on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

In the last four days, 41 bills have become law in Vermont. Here's a breakdown of what they are, what they do and when they go into effect.

Here's a full rundown of everything Gov. Phil Scott's signed into law this session:
Scroll through to see the full list or use the search feature.Viewing on mobile? Tap HERE.


Below are more details on some bills the governor has signed:

The Artificial Intelligence Bill

H.378 - "An act relating to the creation of the Artificial Intelligence Task Force"

As Milo Cress, a Champlain Valley Union High School junior who testified in favor of the bill this past winter in front of the Legislature, explained on Vermont Edition:

My advice to lawmakers was to include as many people in the discussion as possible, because when we're developing and regulating artificial intelligence technologies, we want the developers and the regulators to be on the same page. We want everyone to know what our capabilities are and what our obligations are.

Read the full bill here.

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Salary History Bill

H. 294 - "An act relating to inquiries about an applicant’s salary history"

The billmeans a potential employer cannot ask you (or your current employer) about your current or past salary or use your salary to decide if they should invite you for an interview.

The bill does allow for employers to confirm information you volunteer, ask you about your salary expectations for a potential position and provide "salary offered in relation to a position."

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Domestic Terrorism Bill

H.25 - "An act relating to domestic terrorism"

This bill was introduced in response to the Vermont Supreme Court's decision earlier this year regarding Jack Sawyer and what constituted "an attempt."

Went into effect when signed May 21, 2018.

The Postpartum Contraceptives Bill

H.404 - "An act relating to Medicaid reimbursement for long-acting reversible contraceptives"

Requires Medicaid to reimburse health care providers for the full cost of long-acting reversible contraceptives if the device is inserted while a patient is in the hospital after having given birth.

Read the full bill here.

  • Reimbursements effective July 1, 2018.
  • Rest of the bill went into effect when signed May 21, 2018.
The Dam Bill

H.554 - "An act relating to the regulation of dams and the testing of groundwater sources"

Read the full bill here.

  • Rulemaking regulations kicked in when signed May 22, 2018.
  • Testing rules for the most part take effect July 1, 2019.
The Parentage Bill

H.562 - "An act relating to parentage proceedings"

What does it legally mean to be a parent?

Considering legal and scientific developments in the last few decades, this bill updates the state's parentage laws to take such recent factors into account.

Listen to Vermont Edition's conversation on the bill from earlier in the session.

Read the full bill here.

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Beer Franchise Bill

H. 710 - "An act relating to beer franchises"

Back in February, Todd Bouton, general manager of Farrell Distributing, said the change would be bad for the whole industry:

It's very abrupt. It's very disrupting to a system that has really helped grow the Vermont craft beer industry. And that success is both on the part of the brewers and the distributors. And, you know, we just don't want this thing to happen too fast without fully vetting everything that it could do to the market.

The concensus with this bill seemed to be with how unhappy the bill made folks.

Will go into effect between Jan. 1, 2019 and July 1, 2022.

The Veterans Flag Bill

Lawmakers hold up the "Honor and Remember" flag during a bill signing ceremony Thursday. The flag will honor Vermonters who died as a result of their military service.
Credit Peter Hirschfeld / VPR
Lawmakers hold up the "Honor and Remember" flag during a bill signing ceremony earlier this month. The flag will honor Vermonters who died as a result of their military service.

H.693 - "An act relating to the Honor and Remember Flag"

Irasburg Rep. Vicki Strong, who was a driving force behind H.693, lost her son, Marine Sgt. Jesse Strong, 24, in 2005 when was killed alongside three fellow Marines during a firefight in Iraq. During the bill signing in May, she shared what motivated her to get it passed:

"Freedom comes with a price, and I am grateful for the men and women who are willing to serve and to pay that price for our freedom." — Irasburg Rep. Vicki Strong

Went into effect when signed May 3, 2018.

Vermont's Net Neutrality Bill

S.289 - "An act relating to protecting consumers and promoting an open Internet in Vermont."

The bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate, 23 to 5.

Scott joins other statewide figures, including Attorney General TJ Donovan, who have called for the protection of net neutrality.

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Notary Publics Bill

H.526 - "An act relating to relating to regulating notaries public"

Effective July 1, 2019, except those sections noted here.

The Energy Bill

H.676 - "An act relating to miscellaneous energy subjects"

You've got to love a bill with "miscellaneous" in the title.

Read the full bill here.

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Appliance Efficiency Bill

H.410 - "An act relating to appliance efficiency, energy planning, and electric vehicle parking"

Advocates are pleased Scott signed the bill which they say could set a standard for other states across the country looking to implement similar regulations.

The majority of the billgoes into effect July 1, 2018.

The Restorative Justice Bill

H.718 - "An act relating to creation of the Restorative Justice Study Committee"

Read the full bill here.

Went into effect when signed May 21, 2018.

The Bail Bill

H.728 - "An act relating to bail reform"

Read the full bill here.

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Municipal Land Bill

H.859 - "An act relating to requiring municipal corporations to affirmatively vote to retain ownership of lease lands"

Read the full bill here.

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Water Funding Bill

Credit Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR
Lake Fairlee.

S.260 - "An act relating to funding the cleanup of State waters "

Establishes a Vermont Clean Water Authority to oversee and manage the state's clean water efforts.

The majority of the billwent into effect May 22, 2018.

The Goverment Employee Retirement Bill

H.894 - "An act relating to pensions, retirement, and setting the contribution rates for municipal employees"

Details on what exactly this bill does can be found here.

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Swimming Hole Bill

H.132 - "An act relating to limiting landowner liability for posting the dangers of swimming holes"

Read the full bill here.

Went into effect May 21, 2018.

The Open Meeting Law Bill

H.910 - "An act relating to the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Act"

Effective July 1, 2018, with the exception of one piece as noted here.

The Pot Bill

H.511 - "An act relating to eliminating penalties for possession of limited amounts of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older"

It's the bill that made Vermont the ninth state in the country to legalize marijuana. It passed both chambers in early January, and just 11 days later the governor signed it into law.

Effective July 1, 2018

The Bathroom Bill

H.333 - "An act relating to identification of gender-free restrooms in public buildings and places of public accommodation"

It requires that public buildings and venues have gender-free restrooms designated as gender neutral.

The billonly applies to bathrooms with one toilet, so multi-stall/user bathrooms can still legally be labeled for one gender.

Effective July 1, 2018.

The Controversial Gun Bill

S.55 - "An act relating to the disposition of unlawful and abandoned firearms"

This bill, which raised the age to buy a gun, requires background checks on private gun sales and put bans on bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, generated a lot of debate. Gov. Scott ended up signing it into law in mid-April, amid both cheers and boos, in front of the Statehouse.

Everything except bump stocks took effect April 11, 2018.

The bump stock ban takes effect Oct. 1, 2018.

The Less Controversial Gun Bills

H.422 - "An act relating to removal of firearms from a person arrested or cited for domestic assault"
S.221 - "An act relating to establishing extreme risk protection orders"

On the same day Scott signed S.55, he also signed these two gun bills, which were notably less contentious.

Just weeks later, Act 97 (S.221 as law) also ended up playing a role in the Jack Sawyer case, as an "extreme risk protection order" was sought by the court to keep Sawyer from possessing weapons.

H.422: Effective Sept. 1, 2018

S.221: Went into effect when signed April 11, 2018.

Wait, how does this work again?

Under Vermont law, the governor is given the option to run the clock out on the window s/he has to sign the bill, letting it become law without their signature. Here's how that works.

Here's what Scott let pass this week without his signature.

The Equifax Bill

H.764 - "An act relating to data brokers and consumer protection"

After the Equifax hack put more than 147 million people's data at risk last fall, the Vermont Legislature crafted a bill with the goal of protecting Vermonters' data. The bill requires companies to be more transparent with consumers about what data is collected and opt-out opportunities.

Rules regarding findings, intent, eliminating fees, credit freezes and reports went into effect May 22, 2018.

All other sections are effective Jan 1, 2019.

The Fish And Wildlife Bill

H.636 - "An act relating to various issues regarding fish and wildlife"

Licensing and lottery application rules went into effect May 22, 2018.

Incidental trapping rules and the ban on coyote-hunting competitions take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Trapping for compensation rules take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

All other sections are effective July 1, 2018.

There are more bills (specifically the budget and tax bill) on their way to the governor, which means more decisions could be on their way. We'll keep this post updated as they happen. We also have a list of what Scott's vetoed so far, here.

Follow @vprnet on Twitter and #vtpoli for the latest. 

The Vermont Statehouse is often called the people’s house. I am your eyes and ears there. I keep a close eye on how legislation could affect your life; I also regularly speak to the people who write that legislation.
Emily Alfin Johnson was a senior producer for Vermont Public Radio.
Noah joined Vermont Public in 2017 as digital services specialist.
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