Legislative Update - January 8, 2023

We (and the legislature) are just getting into it. This week kicked off with the typical rituals we would expect at the start of a new legislative biennium with lawmakers being sworn in, light and fluffy speeches from the floor, and Governor Scott's inaugural address. Now the real work begins.

Over the next several months, new members will work to get up to speed as the legislature tackles big issues like housing, carbon reduction, access to childcare, and paid family leave. These are big and complex policy initiatives that will take time and effort to get right. Campaign for Vermont will be there for all of it.

Quote of the Week:

“This session, we should take a page out of Senator Leahy's playbook by always working with an eye on what is best for the communities we represent... About half of you represent towns of less than a thousand so you are up against a similar challenge when compared to our bigger cities. What better way to honor Senator Leahy's legacy than to deliver for your small communities the way he's delivered for our small state.” - Governor Scott



Phil Scott


Vote for Vermont:

Vote for Vermont is back for a new season! State Rep. Jim Harrison joins Pat and Linda to talk about his blog, fiscal policy, and the new dynamics with the incoming legislature.

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Fiscal Responsibility

Revenue Performance

The House Ways and Means Committee heard from Catherine Benham (Chief Fiscal Officer) and Emily Byrne, (Associate Fiscal Officer) on Thursday. They provided a high-level overview from the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) on the revenue forecasting process. One of the key pieces of information shared by JFO was the current performance of state revenues now that we are over halfway through FY2023 (state budgets run July 1 – June 30). Fortunately here there is some good news!


FY2022 actual

FY23 July Forecast

FY23 YTD Forecast

FY23 YTD Actual

General Fund





Education Fund





Trans. Fund





*all values are in millions of dollars.

Fund Performance:

  • General fund is performing well (up $65.7M over the first half of FY2023).
  • Education fund is modestly exceeding expectations (up $10.4M).
  • Transportation fund faces challenges ($1M deficit) – driven primarily by gas tax performance but buoyed by purchase and use tax.

Before adjourning, Chairwoman Kornheiser promised to delve into all these funds in detail during the next few weeks, starting with Education.




Senate Education Priorities

The Senate Education Committee met on Friday to discuss planning for the legislative session. Chairman Campion asked each of the Committee members to offer their thoughts on what they would like the Committee to achieve.

  • Gulick
    • Every person becomes self-actualized (equity)
    • School construction aid & PCB mitigation
    • Civic education
  • Hashim
    • Childcare is critical, both on cost and availability.
    • Equity – his district has a lot of poor rural schools and he wants to make sure they have the same opportunities as larger schools.
    • Practical hands-on experience for students.
  • Williams
    • Concerned about cost and taxpayer burden.
    • School Security is a problem. We need to get creative.
    • Gulick: Improve the transparency around the Ed Fund?
  • Weeks
    • Training for the trades needs to be a focus. People are being turned away because there isn’t enough capacity to train them.
    • School universal meal supports.
    • Curious about the childcare dynamics that are inhibiting growth and access.


Campion reiterated that he wants to verify that the state is back on track after Covid and his main focus is always to find ways of actually improving outcomes for students.


Things to watch for next week:

What bills will be introduced in the House - Big policy efforts are being pushed by House leadership. Bills supporting these efforts will likely start being introduced over the coming weeks.

Education Committees - We are watching closely to see what legislation might be introduced on school choice.

Economic Development - The new chair of Senate Economic Development has put housing at the top of her priority list. We are hoping she follows through and convinces other senators that owner-occupied affordable housing may be the largest threat to the long-term prosperity of our state.



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