What’s happening in committees this week…

House and Senate Appropriations are, all budget all the time. Commerce is similarly focused on the jobs bill, and Health Care committees are taking testimony on the Single Payer Health Care bill, H.202.

In House Education – Jeff Francis of the Superintendents Association, Stephen Dale of the School Boards Association and Joel  Cook, Executive Director of the Vermont NEA (Our own version of Cerberus guarding the gates of the public education monopoly. I’m pretty sure these guys don’t even go to the bathroom without each other.) will be on to complain about Act 82, the two vote requirement to raise school budgets. This is a good indication that it’s an effective tool at reigning in spending.

Senate Education will hear from Independent school advocates on S.44, An act relating public funding of independent schools.

Fish & Wildlife will take up an interesting looking bill, H. 26An act relating to limiting the application of fertilizer containing phosphorus or nitrogen to nonagricultural turf. My own lawn is all weeds and the only fertilizing of it is done by the dog, but this might negatively affect others with greener thumbs.

House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs wins the busybody of the week award. They’ll be considering H.41, An act relating to requiring employment breaks, , dictating to employers how to structure their work day, and H.216 An act relating to preserving federally assisted affordable housing. This bill proposes to require that the owner of a publicly assisted housing project who wishes to sell the project or terminate a subsidy contract provide notice to the housing project’s tenants and the Vermont housing finance agency and allow them the opportunity to submit an offer to purchase the development.

On a more serious note, House Government Operations will be taking considerable testimony on H. 73An act relating to establishing a government transparency office to enforce the public records act.

On a less serious (but all too serious) note, their counterparts in Senate Government Operations will continue with their many schemes to rewrite the U.S. Constitution (S.20, S.31, J.R.S. 11), and try to figure out how to dispense marijuana, S.17.

Every year this comes up and every year it fails. House Transportation will take another shot at banning cell phone use with H.150, An act relating to handheld use of portable electronic devices and primary seatbelt enforcement. This bill prohibit handheld use of portable electronic devices by adults operating motor vehicles; and repeal secondary enforcement of safety belt law for adult operators, thus authorizing primary enforcement. Can you hear us now? Leave us alone!

Ways & Means takes up H. 143An act relating to the taxation of certain Internet sales.

And Senate Natural Resources and Energy will debate S. 34, An act relating to the collection and disposal of mercury-containing lamps. “Mercury-containing lamp” means a lamp to which mercury is intentionally added during the manufacturing process, including linear fluorescent, compact fluorescent, black light, high-intensity discharge, ultraviolet, and neon lamps. How about just eliminating the ban on incandescent bulbs before it takes effect in 2012.