I will be running for Representative in November, thanks, Terry Norris
At the close of the 2018 Legislative session on May 12th, we basically agreed to disagree. A special session will be forth coming to try to reach a compromise on the major money bills that have to pass. Governor Scott will not pass anything with a new tax or fee and has ideas for one time money from a tobacco settlement that isn’t shared by the majority party.
The Agriculture and Forestry Committee which I am a member, had a very productive session, with several bills that we have worked on see passage. I am proud of what we have accomplished this session and how it may help the rural economy. I will give you a brief outline of these bills.
S101: Vermont Right To Conduct Forestry Operations, our committee believes the logging and forestry industry is an invaluable and vital part of Vermont’s economy and values. With current use programs requiring the harvest and management of forests, the logging industry and loggers need some protection from nuisance lawsuit and harassment when they are conducting their operations using “best management practices”, while doing their jobs.
S276: a Rural Economic Development Initiative bill which contains many diverse parts which tries to ease some of the issues our rural towns face and to stimulate rural economy.
H780: is a bill requiring Fairs and Field Days to have a protocol for amusement ride inspection.
H663: an Accessory On-Farm Business bill that defines and sets forth requirements for what constitutes an on-farm business. The purpose of this bill is to help the farm and rural industry to add side businesses to increase income from their farming operations. An on-farm business means activity that is an accessory to a farm and comprises one or both of the following. Storage, preparation, processing and sale of qualifying products, provided that more than 50 percent of the total annual sales are from qualifying products produced on the farm. Educational, recreational or social events as well as farm stays, tastings, classes and meals. The purpose again is to stimulate the rural economy. This bill also has a part on promoting and regulating hemp farming in Vermont.
Two more bills we worked on but could not come to agreement with the Senate on were a regenerative farming bill that established the Vermont Environmental Stewardship Program that recognizes farms that go beyond the RAP’s to improve water quality. The Protection of Pollinators bill, which we took lots of testimony on, fell apart in an impasse with the Senate. We may work on these issues again next session because of their importance to agriculture.
If you would like to know more about these or any other bill, you can find more information on the state website, www.vermont.gov as well as my voting record on select bills.
You will find me on the ballot in November and I would appreciate your support. I feel we need someone in the House that understands what our rural towns and Vermont agriculture faces in the future. Thank you very much, Rep Terry Norris