ACTION ALERT: S.5 Vote on Senate Floor
Friends, the Senate is voting TODAY on a bill to introduce a carbon pricing scheme for home heating fuels that the Scott Administration says will increase the cost of heating fuels at least $0.70 per gallon. This morning I sent the letter below to all our Senators, but we need you to speak out as well. NOW is the time to make your voice heard. If carbon pricing on heating fuels will hurt your family's financial stability, Senators need to hear from you!Read more
Misc. Education Bill - March 1, 2023
On Wednesday, the Senate Education Committee took up the latest draft of their miscellaneous education bill. One of the major components of the bill is study on the compensation and staffing levels for the State Board of Education (SBE).Read more
Workforce Development FY2024 Budget - March 1, 2023
Victoria Biondolillo (Executive Director, State Workforce Development Board) testified to the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday, saying that the data collected by the Workforce Development Board illustrates two major issues:
- The current shortage of labor and need to fill jobs.
- Long term trends and demographic decline.
Ending Independent School Choice (H.285) - March 1, 2023
The House Education Committee returned Wednesday morning to the bill that does away with Vermont’s public tuitioning system. Chairman Conlon opened the meeting, indicating that this would not likely be taken up again before the town meeting break. However, on Friday they will take another look at their committee bill on this topic.Read more
Miscellaneous Ethics Bill - Feb 28, 2023
The Senate Government Operations Committee took up a draft bill on Tuesday that would make miscellaneous changes to ethics laws. Legislative Counsel walked through the bill with the Committee.Read more
Clean Heat Standard (S.5) - Senate Appropriations
The Senate Appropriations Committee dove back into S.5 on Tuesday. Chairwoman Kitchel notified the Committee that it was her intention to add a study and a check-back provision to the bill.
Kitchel highlighted the importance of a “potential study.” It informs everything else, including the economic and technical feasibility of the plan. Based on Julie Moore’s testimony (Secretary, Agency of Natural Resources), this study needs to be the first step in this process, and must be added to the bill.Read more
Update on School Budgets - Feb 28, 2023
On Tuesday, the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) and the Agency of Education (AOE) provided their customary update to the House Ways & Means Committee. Chairwoman Kornheiser shared that she had asked JFO to include a new line item for cloud taxes, which would amount to $16.9M in revenue if added. This addition would result in a 5% increase in average property tax bills if coupled with the additional spending items the Committee is considering.Read more
Legislative Update - February 26, 2023
Administrators of Vermont public schools came out swinging this week trying to drive through a bill that would eliminate public tuitioning to independent schools. They mostly repeated talking points that teachers unions argue nationally where vouchering or charter programs are introduced - i.e. not specific to Vermont or the program we offer to kids who live in towns that don't operate a school. The language they use is concerning and indicates a nationally-coordinated effort.Read more
Vermont State Colleges Funding
The House Appropriations Committee reviewed the FY2024 budget for the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) on Tuesday. Representatives from VSC shared that in 2020 the state asked them to close down three of their campuses to address a structural deficit of $25M per year. In response, they formed a committee and created a plan to reduce the operating deficit by $5M/year for five years.Read more
Omnibus Housing Bill (S.100): Feb 21 - 24, 2023
The Senate Economic Development Committee continued to do mark up of the Omnibus Housing Bill on Tuesday with two members of the Committee absent. Chairwoman Ram Hinsdale stated that she presumed that the absent Committee Members were aligned with moving in the direction that the Committee was going with mark-up of the bill. This, however, contradicts Senator Brock’s statement of last week where he went on record as to not being comfortable with this Bill.Read more