By: Matt Musgrave, Deputy EVP/Government Relations Director
AGC/VT’s annual legislative event “Building Bridges” formerly known as “Storming the Statehouse” was held Friday, January 18th and was a complete success. Approximately 40 members of AGC/VT met early in the morning for a legislative briefing from our lobbying team including Heather Shouldice, Tess Kennedy and myself. Then we assembled in the cafeteria to share coffee with many legislators who were interested in our positions. We were also welcomed by House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint who shared some great ideas on policies they were already considering. Next, we moved on to the Governors ceremonial office to meet with Governor Phil Scott. Governor Scott listened to members, shared some of his insights and urged us to speak directly to our representatives when initiatives are important to us as it is the best way to get support. Representative Pat Brennan was then nice enough to introduce our members and our “flanyards” provided by Vermont Flannel used to identify ourselves to a round of applause from legislators at a House floor session. Last we split up and attended several committee sessions including Transportation, Government Ops, Economic Development and Institutions. We were heard loud and clear by our representatives so I hope you can make it next year!!
AGC/VT’s Government Affairs Committee met for the first time on January 21 to discuss bills being introduced and get updates on the kickoff of the session. To date bills relating to minimum wage, workers comp, regulation of marijuana, cap and trade expansion, state permitting, unemployment insurance and medical monitoring for toxic substances have been introduced. They have been assigned to committees, but no action taken yet. Bills are slowly emerging as legislators are settling into their seats, learning statehouse rules, and receiving agency updates on 2018 activities.