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Numerous bills were proposed this session but did not make it through in time for consideration. Whether proposed legislation was not on the priority list of those running the legislature, or one or both chambers failed to agree, a majority of bills did not make the transition from one legislative body to the next. Several bills failed passage of both the House and Senate and will not see the Governor’s desk this year. However, this is the first year of the biennium, all legislation introduced during the 2011 legislation session will carry over and be added to hundreds of new bills that will be introduced in 2012.
H.42, a bill that would prohibit credit checks as part of the hiring process passed the House, but failed to make the priority list, and died in the Senate Rules Committee. Conditions set forth by this bill for a potential employer to consider an applicant’s credit history would be near impossible to meet and therefore was firmly opposed by NFIB. It is unsure if the proposal will be addressed next session.
H.254, a bill that intends to protect Vermonters from deceptive business practices; such as authorizing ongoing credit card charges, adding unwanted phone bills, and prohibiting out-of-state companies from appearing to consumers as instate businesses has also been tabled. While the bill passed the House, it was never considered in the Senate.
Unionization of Child Care Workers, H.97, thought to be one of the Governor’s top priorities passed the House, but is opposed by Senate leaders as it creates tension within the childcare community. NFIB/VT members appear to be conflicted on this issue as well. Centers such as the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club argued that this legislation would impede the quality of services provided by redirecting money from highly rated providers, and the creation of a union would be expensive and ineffective in the attempt to increase funding for childcare services. There seems to be unanimity around the central issue; fair compensation for the services that are being provided to children of families with lesser means. NFIB/VT has advocated that this is the issue that should be addressed.