Linda Joy Sullivan Joins CFV Board

We are pleased to announce that former legislator, Linda Joy Sullivan, has joined the Campaign for Vermont Board of Directors.

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What's Next?

Friends, the election is over. Now what?

Vermonters have voted, we know who will be in Montpelier for the next two years. What happens next? Well, over the next couple months legislators will start preparing for the 2023 legislative session. This means they will start drafting bills, reviewing legislative procedure, and forming alliances. The work being done will shape the priorities and set the agenda for 2023 and beyond.

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Summer Newsletter

We hope you are enjoying your summer! After catching our breath from the legislative session we are back at it and already starting to prepare for next year.

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S.171 Summary - Statewide Code of Ethics

S.171 was the next step in years of work in moving Vermont towards having a universal code of ethics. This work started in 2018 when the legislature created the Vermont Ethics Commission that could be an educational resource to lawmakers about ethics issues. While this was a critical step forward, the Commission had no real enforcement powers and even their advisory role was somewhat limited because of the lack of a consistent ethical standard across state government.

This bill created that framework. Campaign for Vermont fought hard to make sure that all three branches of government where covered by this code.

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H.456 Summary - Strategic Goals and Reporting for VSC

In furthering our vision of an informed and active electorate, we are providing summaries of key bills considered during the 2022 legislative session. H.456 is one of these.

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S.234 Summary - Changes to Act 250

S.234 was billed as an overhaul to Act 250, however most land-use and development experts agreed that it fell well short of holistic reform. That being said, the bill did strive to make improvements in key areas relative to housing, but even on this front it drew criticism from mayors and town administrators across the state.

It even took heat from Miro Weinberger who said it, "would take us backwards and undo one of the most important pro-housing state land use reforms of the past 20 years."

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S.100 Summary - Universal School Meals

S.100 creates a one-year universal school meal program that provides free breakfast and lunch for all public school students and independent school students who attend on public tuition.

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S.286 Summary - State Pension Systems

S.286 is meant to address deficits in both the State Employees' Retirement System (VSERS) and the Vermont Teachers Retirement System (VTRS) by adjusting contribution rates, prefunding, and other changes.

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H.737 Summary - Setting Property Tax Rates

Every year the legislature sets a yield amount that essentially identifies how much revenue the state expects to generate with a $1 statewide base tax rate. This number is used to calculate local tax rates by adjusting for local spending. According to the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) projects a decrease for the average homeowner of about 9% from last year.

This year the property tax bill was particularly interesting for two reasons. First, the state went into budgeting for FY2023 with a $95M surplus from the current year (first time anyone can remember this happening) so legislators had some decisions to make about how to spend that money. The Governor wanted to spend half on property tax rebates and the other half on technical education investments.

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H.572 Summary - Retirement Allowance for Interim Educators

This bill creates a temporary program meant to address the perceived shortage of teachers in the state by allowing school districts to bring retirees back to work for one-year contracts without jeopardizing their retirement benefits. While clever, there are concerns from the Treasurer's office about the financial impacts of this program on the pension should it become widely used.

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