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Big deadline for bills in Vt. Statehouse - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Big deadline for bills in Vt. Statehouse

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

With the governor out-of-state and the lieutenant governor performing his duties, Sen. John Campbell oversaw the Senate Friday. The body began work early because it's essentially the final day for consideration of bills floated by its members.

Senators voted in favor of limiting some local school control, passing a measure barring the conversion of a public school to an independent for two years.

The measure heads to the House for consideration, and would require a study of both the constitutionality of such a conversion and the ban itself.

Senators also approved a measure designed to quadruple the amount of energy home renewable projects, like solar, can send to utilities, which passed the House earlier this year.

After differences are resolved it will head to the governor's desk for his signature.

Representatives tackled eight bills of their own in the other chamber. But members of the House's money committees began work on next week's assignments. Financial bills need to reach the floor by next Friday.

Rep. Janet Ancel, the tax committee's chairwoman, says she hopes they'll be able to get a property tax rate bill there by Wednesday. They expect a less substantial hike than the 7 cents originally proposed by the Shumlin administration.

Meanwhile, her peers in the spending committee continue to inspect and tweak the governor's budget proposal.

Even as hundreds of bills are shelved, legislators will still have plenty on their plate next week.

Notable bills like a proposed ban on handheld phone use while driving, measures aimed at attacking the opiate epidemic, and Lyme disease treatment protections for doctors passed earlier this year, and so they are still on the table.

A minimum wage hike did not make the deadline, but is expected to get an exemption.

Paid sick day legislation is still up in the air.

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