Pat McDonald published Changes to Boards and Commissions (H.125) - May 9, 2023 in News 2023-05-14 17:21:20 -0400
Changes to Boards and Commissions (H.125) - May 9, 2023
The Senate took up H.125 on the floor Wednesday, which deals with a number of different boards and commissions. Notably, the bill would repeal the Clean Energy Development Board and limit the authority of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority.
It also repeals the Government Accountability Committee and makes the Vermont Pension Investment Commission (VPIC)more independent from the State Treasurer.Read more
Pat McDonald published Changes to Election Laws (H.429) - May 9-12, 2023 in News 2023-05-14 17:20:42 -0400
Changes to Election Laws (H.429) - May 9-12, 2023
A bill changing numerous education provisions, H.429, generated a great deal of interest this session. Numerous people testified in both the House and Senate. On May 9th, a strike-all amendment from the Senate Government Operations Committee was considered. It incorporated provisions from S.32, which would create a Ranked-Choice Voting system for presidential primary elections.Read more
Pat McDonald published Expanding Apprenticeships (H.452) - Overview in News 2023-05-13 16:43:46 -0400
Expanding Apprenticeships (H.452) - Overview
The bill expanding Vermont's Apprenticeship programs, H.452, passed both House and Senate in the final days of the legislative session and is on its way to the Governor for signature. It was an important bill for the Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL) and the Administration. This bill (which is 52 pages) puts current practice into statute to ensure compliance with the federal law.
Additionally, these changes needed in order to leverage federal grants, to modernize the system, to provide support for employees, to ensure the programs are doing what they say they are doing, and to give VDOL the authority to manage the programs.Read more
Pat McDonald published Workforce and Economic Development (H.484) - May 2-3, 2023 in News 2023-05-07 16:25:40 -0400
Workforce and Economic Development (H.484) - May 2-3, 2023
In preparation to receive H.484 back from the Senate, the House Commerce Committee began digging into the differences between their version of the bill and the Senate's version on Tuesday.Read more
Pat McDonald published Rewriting Apprenticeship Statutes in News 2023-05-06 19:07:11 -0400
Rewriting Apprenticeship Statutes
Jay Ramsey from the Department of Labor joined the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday to catch them up to speed on Vermont's apprenticeship landscape. He shared that Apprenticeships are a proven workforce solution. A registered apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credentialRead more
Pat McDonald published Divestment of State Pension Funds (S.42) - April 27, 2023 in News 2023-04-29 13:13:15 -0400
Divestment of State Pension Funds (S.42) - April 27, 2023
The House Government Operations Committee returned to S.42 on Thursday. Katie Green (Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Vermont Pension Investment Commission). She shared that the Vermont Pension Investment Commission (VPIC) established an Environmental, Social, and Governmental (ESG) committee. Green noted that climate change is a "significant threat," adding that it's "not just fossil fuel" but also automobile industry, land use, and water quality. She was adamant that VPIC was accountable and transparent, which is why they created the ESG committee to report up to the commission.Read more
Pat McDonald published Interim Vermont State College President in News 2023-04-28 22:48:04 -0400
Interim Vermont State College President
On Friday, the Senate Education Committee welcomed Mike Smith. Chairman Campion thanked him for coming in person to talk to the Committee. Smith was born in Rutland County, went to high school in Woodstock, and then pursued military service right after high school. When he came out of the service he went to UVM for a graduate degree. Most of his career was spent as CEO of several companies and held a number of positions within state government.Read more
Pat McDonald published Next Steps on Ethics (H.125) - April 20, 2023 in News 2023-04-22 17:51:37 -0400
Next Steps on Ethics (H.125) - April 20, 2023
Christina Sivret (Executive Director, Vermont Ethics Commission) joined the Senate Government Operations Committee to discuss a provision they wanted added to H.125. The underlying bill delt with boards and Commissions, but the Committee had previously indicated that this was a good vehicle for the language she was looking for.Read more
Pat McDonald published Divestment of State Pension Funds (S.42) - April 19, 2023 in News 2023-04-22 17:41:03 -0400
Divestment of State Pension Funds (S.42) - April 19, 2023
Bill McKibben from Third Act joined the House Government Operations Committee on Wednesday to discuss S.42. He noted divestment started here in Vermont years ago. Third Act was founded by McKibben, who wrote the "original book" about global warming. In LA Times and companies knew, all the way back in the 1980s, about the impact of fossil fuels and "lied about what fossil fuels can do to the environment," he claimed.Read more
Pat McDonald published State Colleges Transformation Plan in News 2023-04-22 16:57:58 -0400
State Colleges Transformation Plan
The Senate Education Committee were joined on Tuesday by representatives from the Vermont State Colleges to discuss their Transformation Plan. Chairman Campion invited Chancellor Zdatny to outline for the Committee what the colleges will look like going forward, noting that "there is a lot of competition out there." Specifically, he pointed to Southern New Hampshire University as a competitor.Read more
Pat McDonald published Workforce Development (H.494) - April 18, 2023 in News 2023-04-22 16:28:16 -0400
Workforce Development (H.494) - April 18, 2023
Legislative Counsel reviewed H.494 for the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday. The bill had already passed the house and the much of the discussion was focused on the forgivable loan incentive programs (subsection 6)Read more
Pat McDonald published Divestment of State Pension Funds (S.42) - April 7, 2023 in News 2023-04-08 17:09:29 -0400
Divestment of State Pension Funds (S.42) - April 7, 2023
Senator Clarkson presented S.42 to the House Government Operations Committee on Friday. She introduced the bill by saying that, "many of us wanted to have happen a long time ago" and that it was a "win for everyone." The bill was the result of negotiations between Third Act, the Treasurer's Office, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC), the Senate Government Operations Committee, and other experts.Read more
Pat McDonald published State Treasurer's FY24 Budget in News 2023-04-08 16:42:17 -0400
State Treasurer's FY24 Budget
The State Treasurer, Mike Pieciak, submitted his budget and comments on the treasurers office to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.Read more
Pat McDonald published Governance Structure of Career and Technical Education in News 2023-04-08 15:48:25 -0400
Governance Structure of Career and Technical Education
A joint meeting between multiple legislative committees was held on Wednesday to review a report on the funding and governance structure of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Vermont.Read more
Pat McDonald published Letter to House Environment & Energy Committee in News 2023-04-06 17:38:56 -0400
Letter to House Environment & Energy Committee
I am writing on behalf of Campaign for Vermont Prosperity, asking you to carefully weigh the value versus the potential harm that can be done by introducing a carbon pricing scheme on heating fuels. Every equity expert that has testified on S.5 has agreed that it will likely hurt low-income Vermonters, those on fixed incomes, rural Vermonters, and our historically marginalized. We share this belief. Carbon-pricing is a blunt instrument that is almost certain to do unintended harm to Vermont’s most vulnerable.Read more
Pat McDonald published Ethics Commission - March 31, 2023 in News 2023-04-01 20:40:33 -0400
Ethics Commission - March 31, 2023
Christina Sivret presentation for the Vermont Ethics Commission budget to Senate Appropriations on Friday. The total budget came up to $190K, which includes two half-time personnel, plus a contractor. The Committee asked Sivret a number of questions, but they were very receptive to the presentation.
She was able to present all her hopes relative to enforcement of the Code of Ethics and candidate disclosure requirements now being proposed to be added to H.429. She also spoke about the required training and the support they offer public officials through advisory letters.Read more
Pat McDonald published Department of Economic Development - March 31, 2023 in News 2023-04-01 20:30:12 -0400
Department of Economic Development - March 31, 2023
Joan Goldstein (Commissioner, Department of Economic Development) joined the Senate Economic Development Committee on Friday, along with Abbie Sherman (Executive Director, Vermont Economic Progress Council).Read more
Pat McDonald published Divesting State Pensions (S.42) - March 28, 2023 in News 2023-04-01 20:07:58 -0400
Divesting State Pensions (S.42) - March 28, 2023
Senator Clarkson presented S.42 to the Senate on Tuesday, positioning the bill as a "win-win." She listed a number of individuals that were involved for the bills development, including the Treasurer, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC), and several other experts. She cast the bill as the result of "productive negotiations" lead by the Senate Government Operations Committee with with the intent of divesting fossil fuel investments while simultaneously protecting the state's pension funds and Actuarial-Defined Employer Contribution.Read more
Pat McDonald published Candidate Ethics (H.429) in News 2023-04-01 19:41:11 -0400
Candidate Ethics (H.429)
Christina Sivret (Executive Director, Vermont Ethics Commission) presented to the Senate Government Operations Committee on Wednesday a proposal to add language to H.429 surrounding candidate financial disclosures and the compliance with such requirements.Read more
Pat McDonald published Career & Technical Education Funding - March 24, 2023 in News 2023-03-25 15:51:42 -0400
Career & Technical Education Funding - March 24, 2023
The Senate Education Committee invited two Assistant Directors from Career and Technical Education (CTE) Centers to join them on Friday. The issues they spoke to the Committee about were on a list presented by Jodie Emerson earlier in the week.Read more
Pat McDonald’s distinguished career includes 20 years in a wide range of leadership positions throughout state and local government. She served as Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Employment and Training, Secretary of Transportation, Deputy Commissioner of Education, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, and Commissioner of Human Resources (twice) under the Republican and Democratic Administrations of Governors Snelling, Dean and Douglas.
Pat also served as Chair of the Berlin Selectboard and a member of Berlin’s Town Center Task Force, Post Office Committee and Capital Budget and Planning Committee. On a county level, she also volunteered on the Vermont Rural Development Council and Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission.
In 2006 and 2008, Pat was elected to the Vermont House, representing Berlin and Barre City.
While Pat’s leadership qualities are well-suited to public service, she also has approximately 25 years of private-sector experience. She worked for nineteen years at CIBA-GEIGY Corporation in Ardsley, New York, in the human resources department and Office of General Counsel. After she moved to Vermont in 1988, she spent three and a half years at Merchants Bank as Vice-President of Human Resources and Regulatory Management.
In her private life, Pat has served on the Vermont Prevent Child Abuse Board of Vermont as well as the Vermont Granite Museum Board of Directors, and Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice. Pat also served as Chair of the Barre Bike Path Committee.
Pat is married to retired State Police Captain J. Bruce McDonald. Along with her daughter Stacey, Pat has two stepsons, Jim and Jack; and four grandchildren, Zacary, Ryan, Carson and Wyatt. She enjoys the opera, cooking, camping, and touring Vermont’s scenic backroads and covered bridges on her motorcycle. She and her husband are also avid RV campers.
Pat is the founder, host and producer of Vote for Vermont (VFV LLC.), an hour-long community affairs public access TV show which brings viewers a thorough and unique insight into Vermont’s pressing and challenging issues so they can be an informed voter and civic participant. In 2017 VFV joined collaboratively with Campaign for Vermont Prosperity and expanded its programming to reach Vermonters through various social media sources. For the past two years Pat has also served as President of the Board of Directors for Campaign for Vermont Prosperity and as of October 2022, Pat is a guest host for Vermont Viewpoint on WDEV on Tuesday and Thursday.