MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) – July 1 marks the effective date of dozens of new Vermont laws.
Friday is the start of the fiscal year for state government, when the new budget kicks in, funding programs across state government. That includes changes to the state’s Reach Up program, including a doubling of payments to recipients of child support, from $50 to $100 a month. There’s also a half-million-dollar IT upgrade for the Department for Children and Families to run the program.
The Legislature’s education funding reforms also start Friday. The new pupil weighting law seeks to funnel more resources to rural and low-income school districts. And a one-year extension of universal school meals also goes into effect, allowing all public school students in grades K-12 to access for free, extending the benefit that’s been in place throughout the pandemic. Lawmakers will have to report back next year on permanent funding sources.
Lawmakers are also preparing for future COVID impacts. The COVID-19 Paid Leave Grant Program allows employers who pay their employees sick time for being out with COVID can be reimbursed.
It’s aimed at mitigating the impact of quarantines on staffing and businesses. There’s also a one-year extension of Vermont’s Everyone Eats program. a $1.3 million investment will continue for another year to pay farms and local restaurants to cook meals for Vermonters in need.
New hunting rules also go into effect Friday for coyote hunting with dogs. Hunters will only be able to pursue coyotes if they have permission from the landowner. They will also be required to obtain one of the 100 permits that are required.
After years of debate and a charter change, Essex Junction officially becomes a city Friday. There will be a one-year transitional period where the city will set up its governance structure and budget as it separates from the Town of Essex.
Many other laws approved last session will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
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