Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009

On Monday afternoon, Paul Hanlon, Mark Langan, and trust officer Chris Chapman spent nearly three hours with the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee explaining S. 86, the Uniform Trust Code bill. They were well received but only managed to get through five of the twelve sections of this 123 page bill. More testimony is planned for Wednesday morning. This week’s house calendar is pretty fluid as of this writing. The marriage equality bill is due out of committee today; the 2010 budget was voted out of committee yesterday.
According to the rules of the House, those bills will appear on the Notice Calendar on Wednesday and will move to the Action Calendar on Thursday. Today, the transportation bill, which includes a five cent gas tax hits the house floor for debate. I expect the next few days to be taken up with floor debate leaving little, if any, committee time to hear testimony and advance bills.
The Senate Economic Development Committee has released S. 137, the long awaited economic development bill. I advised our Environmental Law Section Chair, Gerry Tarrant, as well as the Environmental Court Judges about some language that they needed to review. I just got a copy of the bill as released from the committee and I’m looking at it to see if those concerns were addressed.
I just learned of another part of that bill that (sec. 109) that amends VRAP 37 by changing the date interest begins to run from the date of judgment to the date the claim was filed. I don’t know the history of why this appears in a stimulus bill and who may have testified (if anyone) either in favor or in opposition. I’ll try to find out.
Finally, for now, the House Appropriations Committee has decided to not follow the governor’s recommendation to cut $1million from the judiciary’s budget. Instead it cut $550,000. I checked in with Bob Greemore this morning who tells me that amount can be made up by a 5% pay cut for all employees earning >$60K. It would still require the half day closings that began in October but the full day furloughs will no longer be necessary. A partial victory I’d say.

No comments:

Post a Comment