A number of amendments were reviewed by the House Government Operations Committee and then reviewed on the House floor later in the day. These included attempts to reduce health care coverage to just during the legislative session, looking at creating an independent commission to oversee legislative compensation, study appropriate salaries instead of new salaries instead of setting them now, and shortening the legislative session to 12 week (typically around 19 now).Read more
Two different House committees reviewed S.39 on Monday, passing the bill quickly to get it back to the floor in time for Friday adjournment. The bill encompasses significant increases in salaries for legislators, an entirely new benefits package, and more generous expense reimbursements. Proponents claim it will make legislative service more accessible to members of the public by moving compensation more in line with median wages across the state.Read more
Christina Sivret introduced herself to the House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday. She talked about the Vermont Ethics Commission and the service they provide. The majority of their current responsibilities relate to training and providing advice; they have ability to receive complaints but not to investigate them. However, they do oversee that State Code of Ethics.
The concept, she explained, is that the State Code of Ethics should apply to all state employees. She discussed the fact that if there can be additional codes of ethics within a state department that may be more stringent than the statewide code.Read more
Thousands of state employees and teachers are counting on the stability of pension funds and the longer we wait the worse the problem gets. Two weeks ago we called on the legislature to pass balanced pension reform that does not put the burden of solving the issue solely on taxpayers or employees. If you missed it, you can find our press releases here.
In order to further our goal of accountability and meaningful action on pension reform, we would like to investigate potential conflicts of interest that lawmakers might have. For example a legislator who is currently receiving pension fund benefits or a spouse who is a covered employee. But, we need your help to do it. We need to raise $2000 to complete a review of all 30 members of the Senate.
Your pledge of support will allow us to do this work and publish a list of legislators who should recuse themselves when a pension bill comes up for a vote on the floor.
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“It’s a first step. Vermont was one of the last states to enact a state ethics commission, so it’s an important first step to establish it and give it some essential functions.”
-Brian Leven, Executive Director, VT State Ethics CommissionRead more