From alimony to coyote hunting, new laws take effect Friday

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) – July 1 marks the effective date for dozens of new Vermont laws.

Friday is the start of the fiscal year for the state government, when the new budget takes effect, funding programs across the state government. This includes changes to the state’s Reach Up program, including a doubling of payments to child support recipients from $50 to $100 per month. There is also a half-million dollar computer upgrade for the Ministry of Children and Families to run the program.

Education funding reforms by the Legislative Assembly also begin on Friday. The new student weighting law aims to channel more resources to rural and low-income school districts. And a one-year extension to Universal School Meals is also taking effect, allowing all public school students from K-12 to access meals for free, extending the benefit that was put in place throughout the pandemic. Lawmakers will have to report next year on permanent funding sources.

Lawmakers are also preparing for future COVID impacts. The COVID-19 Paid Leave Subsidy Program allows employers who pay their employees sick leave to be out with COVID can be reimbursed.

It aims to mitigate the impact of quarantines on staff and businesses. There is also a one-year extension of the Everyone Eats Vermont program. an investment of $1.3 million will continue for another year to pay local farms and restaurants to prepare meals for Vermonters in need.

New hunting rules also come into effect on Friday for coyote hunting with dogs. Hunters will only be able to pursue coyotes if they have permission from the landowner. They will also need to obtain one of the 100 required permits.

After years of debate and a charter change, Essex Junction officially becomes a city on Friday. There will be a one-year transition period as the town puts in place its governance structure and budget as it separates from the town of Essex.

Many other laws approved in the last session will come into force on January 1, 2023.

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