The 2021 legislative season is now in full swing, albeit remotely. A new Speaker of the House, Senate Pro Tempore, and Lieutenant Governor have been sworn in and the difficult task of identifying legislative priorities and lawmaking have begun.
In order to further our goal of advocating for issues that boost working class Vermonters, this year we have decided to survey the Campaign for Vermont followers about what issues impact their daily lives to most, what is most likely to improve the social and financial situation of a family, and what issues people would most like to see the legislature tackle. Here are the results!
We asked respondents what the legislature should focus on in 2021.
|Half of respondents found that rebuilding the economy should be the focus of legislative activity in 2021. Over a third identified stopping the sp
read of Covid 19 or vaccinating against the pandemic as a priority. Less than one in five respondents identified other crises as a top concern.
Campaign for Vermont Focus
We asked respondents what CFV should focus on in 2021.
|There were clear winners with this question too. Economic recovery and workforce development accounted for over half of responses. The next runner up was government accountability, a long-time issue for CFV.|
The last question was a bit of a bonus. Something we've been curious about for a while.
|What surprised us most in the responses to this question is how few people identified higher income as key to affordability. Most people seem to view this issue as just expenses or a ratio of expenses to income and government supports.|
What does this mean?
There are clear priorities among Campaign for Vermont's followers. We are going to take this feedback and use it to develop a legislative action plan. Already we are talking about some of the following:
- Small businesses have been kicked in the teeth, particularly in certain industries like restaurants, lodging, and small retail that can’t be moved online. CFV will advocate for programs which supplement paychecks and allow small businesses to continue operating at a reduced capacity without loss of income to employees.
- Broadband access has shown itself to be critically important to the economic resiliency of our state. CFV will advocate for programs that guarantee high-speed internet access in every corner of VT - a powerful tool to recruit remote workers to our rural quality of life. We must also do this deliberately to best leverage our time and resources.
- Workforce Development - The legislature has commissioned several studies over the past three years on this issue. It’s time to get serious and actually implement some of these recommendations. Campaign for Vermont will hold the Legislature accountable for taking action this year.
- State colleges have struggled to remain relevant. We believe re-thinking what programs these schools offer and better aligning them with economic demands is the way forward for Vermont. We are propose requiring that each VSC program have a business sponsor to create a talent pipeline within Vermont’s economy. These schools are critically important to our workforce development landscape and the communities in which they reside. We need to make sure their missions are on point and are properly supported.
- Pension funding has been a notable problem for 30 years and constitutes a significant liability for both taxpayers and state employees. It’s getting worse. The State Treasurer has signaled openness to reform and we plan to drive this bus full speed ahead.
- Recovery oversight is critical as additional federal dollars are likely to flow into VT. Making sure we maximize the impact of these funds will pay dividends both now and in the future. We will keep watchful eyes on the Legislature as they prioritize these funds.
- Ethics reform has been a cornerstone of CFV’s platform for years. We have made great progress, but this year we have an opportunity for the Legislature to adopt a meaningful code of ethics that sets enforceable standards of conduct for public officials.
More will be forthcoming, if you have ideas please share them! Please use our contact form to submit ideas.