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.
“Ethics reform has been a point of surprising debate this year as the Senate Government Operations Committee moved a bill that would create a universal code of ethics for public officials. Other initiatives such as housing reform and workforce development also showed positive improvements.” - CFV President Pat McDonald
Returning This Fall
Stay Tuned for Vote for Vermont to return this Fall! In the meantime, you can catch up on any episodes you might have missed.
2022 Summer Priorities Survey:
What is the most valuable work that CFV does? We do so many things, we started asking ourselves this question and we would love to hear what you think!
The Faces of Campaign for Vermont:
Former Managing Partner, KPMG
|“The research and detailed reporting of legislation done by CFV is invaluable to Vermonters who keep track of what our government is doing and want the best policy outcomes for our state. I support Campaign for Vermont with a monthly donation of $25 and I hope you will join me to help keep them working for us.”
|“Campaign for Vermont has been at the vanguard for Vermonters ensuring transparency and ethical standards are in place at our statehouse. Their recent comprehensive analysis comparing state employees and teachers compensation with the private sector “The Public Sector Myth” was timely and compelling. These are just two of the many reasons I support CFV.”
|“Campaign for Vermont is a much needed non-partisan addition to the extremes on either side of the Democratic or Republican parties. I read their newsletter to give me an unbiased analysis of what is going on in the State House and in-depth explanations of issues. Thanks for the good work."
|“I like the work that CFV does - providing excellent insights into the work of the Legislature. Better than that is their persistence and focus on important issues. CFV introduced the concept many years ago of an ethics bill that would provide greater certainty that our citizen-legislators were acting on behalf of Vermont and not their own self-interest. CFV has worked closely with legislators to formulate a balanced set of ethics standards. 47 other states already have such standards, and this year we join them. Thanks to the good work of CFV!”
|"I support CFV because I believe it's important to have an informed citizenry. It's hard to keep up with what is going on in Montpelier. CFV brings critical issues to Vermonters attention as they are being discussed in the legislature in hopes that they might weigh in to express their thoughts and opinions. To me there is nothing more important than an involved electorate and CFV is the perfect vehicle to make this happen."
"We work really hard to bring forward innovative and much-needed solutions for issues facing mainstream Vermonters. What's the most intractable problem? Let's focus on that. That is what I appreciate about CFV. There really is no other organization like it in Vermont and supporting institutions such as this is critical in our state's public policy discourse."
|"I became a Board member of Campaign for Vermont because I strongly believe that the electorate deserves to be informed about what our elected officials are doing, especially during legislative sessions. As a nurse, I am particularly interested in following any legislation concerning health care."
|"When considering issues, CFV always puts the Vermonter first. They look beyond party politics and invest their efforts on truly understanding the long-term and short-term impacts of current and proposed policies, and use that to lead and inform legislation which aims to create a prosperous Vermont, for all Vermonters. "
The legislature adjourned in May, but Campaign for Vermont remained hard at work all the way to the end making sure that these important bills, containing much-needed policy reforms, made it to the finish line. We influence the outcomes on these bills by legislative testimony, working directly with legislators, sending letters to committees, and leveraging civic engagement through action alerts.
In addition to our legislative work, we have a number of research projects lined up. Here are a few of them:
Tourism Innovation – 32,000 jobs on the line
We think there is an opportunity to better leverage our existing spending on tourism advertising and as a workforce recruitment tool. Spending on amusements and other experience-economy spending categories grew eight times faster than overall consumer spending between 2014 and 2016. This demonstrates an opportunity to capture a larger economic foothold with the Vermont experience economy (tourism, sports, amusements). We need financial support to expand our work in this area as we network with experience economy businesses across the state and provide training and support. Find out more.
Water Quality - Finally getting pollutants out of our waterways
A number of new technologies are being developed at top universities that can actually remove phosphorous and other pollutants from waterways. This could be a gamechanger for Vermont. Our existing efforts have been focused on simply reducing current runoff, not addressing the existing pollutants that will take decades to remedy without intervention.
In addition, there is also an incredible opportunity for these technologies to be commercialized here – securing a foothold in an industry with over $500B in projected revenue by 2028. We need your help to bring this project forward to the legislature and other stakeholders, build consensus, and actually make progress. Find out more.
Affordable Health Care - Pinpointing where our health care dollars are actually going
Starting in January, 2021 hospitals were required to disclose all standard charges for common procedures across all payer types (cash, private insurance, Medicaid/Medicare). The second iteration of this data is coming next month and we would like to analyze the two years of data to better inform consumers about which hospitals offer the lowest rates for the procedure they are looking for. This analysis would also potentially tell us which procedures hospitals make their margins on and which one’s insurance providers have negotiated down. Find out more.
Broadband Expansion - Reaching the last mile TODAY not in five years
Rural Vermonters cannot wait any longer for broadband internet. Stories of students driving 30 minutes to use the WiFi signal are heartbreaking and totally avoidable with today’s technology. It’s time for universal broadband NOW. We are concerned that the state’s current effort is rolling out too slowly and with a cost so high that we will run out of funds before we reach the last mile. We want to conduct audits every six months of the state’s progress and cost profile. In addition, we would advocate for solutions that are both lower cost and faster to deploy. Help us advocate for rural broadband by clicking here.
Solving our Pension Crisis – The towering financial problem
We would like to work on a second phase of our project on public employee compensation. Specifically, some things we would like to look at are comparing benefits for top rated business to the teachers and state employees, analyzing occupation-specific compensation, and opportunity cost. Find out more.