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.Read more
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.Read more
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."
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.Read more
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.Read more
Last minute Act 250 changes from S.234 were rolled into S.226 but the underlying bill was meant to address Vermont's housing crisis. Despite making steps towards assisting with housing development, the bill does contain a watered down version of a contractor registration provision that Governor Scott vetoed last year.Read more
S.11 started out life as three separate bills - S.11, H.159, and H.703. In the final weeks of the legislature they were merged into one omnibus economic and workforce development bill. The goals of the bill are:
- Expand opportunities for workforce education, training, and development for Vermonters and to make meaningful investments to support and expand the workforce across the State
- Ensure that all Vermonters, and particularly marginalized populations, have the opportunity to benefit from the financial and programmatic benefits being made available.
The major factors that this bill is trying to address is a shortage of 28K workers (largely resulting from 26K workers leaving the workforce since 2019) and a workforce participation rate that has fallen to just over 60%.Read more