REP. LINDA MYERS

As you read this, the legislature has been called into a special session by Gov. Phil Scott. Since the governor has vetoed both the proposed 2019 budget bill and the 2019 revenue bill that will support the budget, activity in the Statehouse has been centered around those bills. However, several other bills failed to make it to a final vote before the end of the regular session on May 12, and both House and Senate committees will be working to see those bills move forward.

My committee, Commerce and Economic Development, had three bills that were not acted upon, and those three bills will be brought to the floor in the new session. All three bills will be of benefit to Vermonters and were approved by the conference committees who worked to finalize language.

H.143, is an act relating to Transportation Network Companies. The bill is a step toward a uniform regulation of all vehicles for hire companies and drivers in Vermont. While the bill will cover all vehicles for hire, the bill is predominantly aimed at insurance and regulations for companies such as Uber and Lyft that are now operating in Vermont. The bill regulates the transportation provided by a driver to a rider’s request for a ride through a digital network controlled by a company; continuing while the driver transports the rider; and ending when the last rider departs from the vehicle. The bill will require insurance of one million dollars in both automobile liability and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for the TNC drivers.

S.180 is an act relating to the Vermont Fair Repair Act. I heard from several residents of Essex who were very interested in seeing the bill passed and I had the pleasure of introducing it on the floor of the House. I anticipate the committee of conference report will be approved and the bill will pass. The bill creates the Right to Repair Task Force which will review and consider issues relating to potential legislation designed to secure the right to repair consumer electronic products, including personal electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and computers. The Task Force may also consider right to repair products beyond consumer electronics if it determines such consideration to be necessary and appropriate.

The final bill awaiting action is S.206, an act relating to business consumer protection for point-of-sale (credit card terminals) equipment leases. This bill will enable small businesses to clearly understand lease requirements for the equipment and the lease must use plain language that is understood by ordinary consumers.

I have no idea when the special session will end. I hope for an agreement between the legislature and the governor that will result in benefits for all Vermonters. It has been a pleasure serving the Chittenden 8-1 district this biennium and in years past. Your support over the years has been very much appreciated. I will be available throughout the remainder of the year to help you with questions and concerns. You can call me at 878-3514 or email mail me at lindakmyers@comcast.net.