Letter to the Editor: Let's be Honest About Public Employee Compensation

On November 10th Campaign for Vermont (CFV) held a press conference to review the details of its report entitled The Public Sector Reality. For the record, I am the President of the Board of Directors of CFV.  Over the past months of pension discussions at the Legislature we heard claims about the state’s non-competitive wages and we decided to verify those statements. We set out expecting to find that pension benefits were an unquestionable asset to recruiting and retaining our public sector workforce. What we found surprised us.

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Press Release: CFV Announces New Report on Pension Issues

November 10, 2021

CONTACT:
BEN KINSLEY
(802) 310-3904
[email protected]

Montpelier, VT – On Wednesday Campaign for Vermont (CFV) released a new report that compares the wages and benefits of teachers and state employees to the private sector and what that means for the current discussions around pension reform.

“As a former Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Commissioner of Human Resources, I was surprised by what we found in this report,” said CFV President Pat McDonald, “I think everyone needs to read this report because there were a number of assumptions that were carried through the years that were just plain wrong.”

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Fueling Vermont Tourism

Tourism was one of the hardest hit industries by the Covid-19 pandemic with an estimated loss of over $700 million in revenue in 2020. We identified re-energizing tourism as a key early initiative in our Plan for Economic Recovery this Spring.

As we build back, we wondered what we can do to come back stronger and smarter than before. This lead us to hire Asher Crispe, an emerging technology consultant, to investigate how Vermont could leverage our brand and our place in the market to rejuvenate our small businesses that were hardest-hit by the pandemic.

We are exited to be able to share our findings and recommendations with you so you can learn more about this iconic Vermont industry and what you can do to help rebuild it.

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Press Release: One Third of Legislators Have Conflicts of Interest Around Pensions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 14, 2021 (updated 6/24/2021)

CONTACT:
BEN KINSLEY
(802) 310-3904
[email protected]

Campaign for Vermont (CFV) has long been an advocate for pension reform. After nearly a decade of obstinance, to our surprise, this year the legislature took the first steps towards meaningful action. While they passed on addressing benefits in the 2021 legislative session, they did set aside pre-funding for pensions and created a task force to look at benefits and bring back recommendations this Fall. We fully expect that the legislature will pass meaningful pension reform early in 2022 that balances our commitment to public employees and the liability for taxpayers. This is a critical balance to strike.

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Legislative Update: End of 2021 Session

The House and Senate have closed the book on the 2021 legislative session. This ended up being one of the least controversial conclusions of a legislative session in recent memory. Conference committees wrapped up their work quickly, no major budget disputes erupted, and the Governor has only promised veto action on one bill. Speaking of vetoes, the legislature is coming back for a brief veto session on June 22nd where additional legislation may be taken up. However, this seems unlikely.

 

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Press Release: CFV Offers Vision for Economic Recovery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 13, 2021

Montpelier - In response to a lack of comprehensive long-term planning on behalf of state leaders around economic recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic, today Campaign for Vermont (CFV) releases a roadmap forward. “We were just frustrated,” said CFV Chairman Pat McDonald, “the legislature had lots of work being done all over the place but no overarching plan to tie it all together.”

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Economic Recovery: Phase 3 - The Long Game.

We are excited to be able to share the third and final phase of our economic recovery plan from Covid-19. Please consider supporting our efforts in the legislature to move forward these and other ideas. If you missed previous parts of the plan, you can find them here.

Phase 3 – The Long Game. It’s not enough to have a thriving tourism industry and universal broadband access in our state. Tourism is important, but most of its jobs are low-wage with limited growth opportunity. Broadband is an important for a whole host of reasons, but it won’t solve all of our problems.

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Legislative Update - May 10, 2021

We are getting close to the end of the legislative session. Many major bills have now been passed by both chambers. Some of which we are excited about, some of which could be better. Pension reform and student weighting factors are headed for summer study committees. Economic development and broadband were stripped of key components that would generate both short and long-term success. The Ethics Commission will get the additional staff it needs, but a comprehensive code of ethics will wait until next year. It's a mixed bag.

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Legislative Update - May 4, 2021

The major event this week was the House killing the project-based TIFs. CFV also sent a letter to the Senate Government Operations Committee on the pension bill this week and released Phase 2 of our economic recovery plan.

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CFV Letter to Senate Government Operations RE: Pensions

Senate Government Operations Committee

 

Dear Madame Chair and Committee Members,

Campaign for Vermont Prosperity (CFV) has been following the Pension Liability issue throughout this legislative session and has weighed in from time to time.   Before we comment further on H.449 we would like to recognize the work that the House and Senate Government Operations Committee, the Treasurer and so many others have done to bring the attention due to this critical issue. The comments below are reflective of the “Draft – As Amended After Second Reading 2021” document.

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