FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 14, 2021 (updated 6/24/2021)
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.Read more
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.
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.Read more
PRESS RELEASE - APRIL 7, 2021
Campaign for Vermont has long been an advocate for pension reform. After nearly a decade of stubbornness, to our surprise, the legislature is now poised to take meaningful action. The pension policy recommendations that emerged from the House Government Operations Committee last week is surprisingly comprehensive despite its 11th hour appearance. Not surprisingly, the teachers and state employee’s unions have summarily condemned the proposal.Read more
The House and Senate have now passed a combined 92 bills. Several key pieces of legislation have now moved from the House to the Senate and we are keeping track of them. Below are some of the highlights.Read more
We have some clarity now. A number of bills came together to meet the crossover threshold this week. A few more are on the way and will likely be given exceptions because of their importance. We will provide a full list in the next couple days, but here are some of the highlights we have been following.Read more
All will become clear shortly. The last few bills to make crossover will be finalized this week. Last week had some ups and downs. First, the legislature is now expecting to have $200M on hand from the latest round of stimulus funds to put towards broadband buildout. This is nearly a 670% increase over what the state had planned to spend in FY2022. Also on the upside, stronger voices have started testifying on the state of our pension funds. The downside? We can't really tell if they are being taken seriously. Also disappointing, the Senate doesn't seem to be interested in passing an ethics bill this year despite the House sending them a pretty cut-and-dry one.Read more
The legislature was in overdrive this past week as they raced to meet crossover deadlines. The results were surprising. A couple bills that appeared to either not have legs or lacked meaningful change now appear to be positioned to move forward.Read more
We have reached the mid-session break for Legislators. This is a great time to reach out to your Senator or Representative or talk to them a town meeting about issues that you care about and to provide your feedback on their work during the first half of the legislative session. A couple weeks from now will be crossover, a deadline for when the House and Senate need to have voted our their respective bills so the other body can work on them. If a bill is to pass this session it must make the crossover deadline so Committees will be buckling down on must pass issues when they return from the Town Meeting break.