Political Action Committee
This month's update:
Thanks to everyone that attended SBBA’s annual meeting last week at the Burlington International Airport. Congratulations to Adam Knudsen, Duncan Macdonald, Tim McKenzie, Jack Russell, John St. Hilaire, Heather Tremblay and Judy Luneau who were all elected to the SBBA Board for a three year term.
Should South Burlington have a Mayor?
Should South Burlington expand its City Council and/or School Board?
Should South Burlington elect City Councilors and/or School Directors by District?
These are the questions being asked by the South Burlington Charter Committee. They meet on Wednesday to discuss. Click here to complete a survey to give your feedback.
Click here to see what else is on the agenda this week for the South Burlington’s volunteer committees.
The Council will also consider a zoning change to require solar in new construction. The proposal would mandate the installation of solar photovoltaic systems in new commercial buildings and some new residential buildings. A public hearing will be held in June before a final decision is made.
The South Burlington City Council will consider a draft an ordinance on rental registration at the next meeting on May 15.
The time is now to join one of South Burlington’s many volunteers committees. The city is accepting applications for the Affordable Housing Committee, Development Review Board, Planning Commission, and many others. Click here to see all the vacancies and download an application form. Apply before Thursday, May 18.
Final Week Showdown
While there is still much to sort out in Montpelier, this could be the last week of the 2023 legislative session. Here is a brief update of some of the bills in motion.
There will be a record number of highway transportation projects in Vermont this year. The Transportation Bill (H.479) spends more than $850 million on road and bridge projects, rail system upgrades, bus service and electric vehicle incentives. The legislation, which will pay for nearly 500 miles of new paving, spends several hundred million dollars of federal infrastructure money. A committee of conference is now meeting to discuss differences between the House and Senate version.
Efforts by the Legislature to address the state’s affordable housing crisis have been watered down. Housing advocates had high hopes for legislation back in January that would have removed the regulatory hurdles in Act 250 that adds time, cost and complexity to housing developments. After months of debate, all that is left of S.100 are limited and temporary changes to the 50 year old land use law, as well as few minor amendments to municipal zoning regulations.
Governor Phill Scott has vetoed S.5, the so-called “Affordable Heat Act.” Sometimes called the “Clean Heat Standard,” the legislation requires Vermont’s heating fuel providers to sell less fossil fuel or else pay their competitors to do it for them. It is expected to add 70-cents to a gallon of heating fuel if fully implemented. Lawmakers are expected to vote this week on whether to sustain or override the veto. As of this morning, they have the votes in both chambers to make it law despite the Governor’s objections.
The Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) will investigate how insurance companies compensate the automotive repair industry if S.95 is also signed into law. The study by DFR could convince lawmakers to establish a minimum reimbursement rate for auto repairs on insurance claims. The report will also include a review of best practices in the insurance industry when it comes to how repairs are directed and disclosed, including the use of aftermarket parts.
Key Swap Scam
At least two auto dealers on Shelburne Road fell victim to a “key swap” scammer this past week. This has become a common method used by auto theft rings to target car dealerships. The thief turns the ‘dummy key’ back into the dealer and keeps the real one, only to come back later that night to drive away with the stolen vehicle. The thieves said they only wanted to see the inside of the car, not take a test drive, so they didn’t hand over their license.
Vermont Vehicle Index
What brands increased sales by 5% in Vermont in 2023?
Chevrolet, Audi, Kia, Hyundai and Buick.
Which brands have done better in Vermont in 2023 than in the rest of the United States?
Chevrolet, Ford and Subaru.
What is the top selling all-electric vehicle in the first quarter of 2023?
The Volkswagen ID.4
Check out these and many other interesting facts at the Vermont Vehicle Index.
Download the latest report here.
News of Note
The Vermont Fuel Price Survey for May can be found here.
Federal EV tax credits explained here.
Vermont's best economic development program is in jeopardy if the legislature doesn't act.
Check out the latest report from the Vermont Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division here.
California to ban new diesel truck sales by 2036.
Your tax money paid for it. Now that the state no longer needs it, you can buy it again slightly used at the Vermont State Surplus Property Auction. Click here to see what is up for grabs.
All rights reserved. This government affairs update is written by Meadow Hill as a service to members of the South Burlington Business Association. If you would like to add or remove someone from this distribution list, send us an email. Learn more about SBBA’s government affairs initiatives and the SBBA PAC, here. Meadow Hill is a trade association management and government affairs firm based in Montpelier. More at meadowhillvt.com.
SBBA PACSouth Burlington Business Association Political Action Committee