2022 Legislative Survey Results
The 2022 legislative season is in full swing. As the legislature transitions back to in-person meetings and start to advance larger policy issues, we launched our annual survey to gather Vermonter's thoughts on what our priorities should be.
In order to further our goal of advocating for issues that boost working class Vermonters, we surveyed Campaign for Vermont followers about what issues impact their daily lives to most, what is most likely to improve the social and financial situation of a family, and what issues people would most like to see the legislature tackle. Here are the results!Read more
2021 Legislative Survey Results
The 2021 legislative season is now in full swing, albeit remotely. A new Speaker of the House, Senate Pro Tempore, and Lieutenant Governor have been sworn in and the difficult task of identifying legislative priorities and lawmaking have begun.
In order to further our goal of advocating for issues that boost working class Vermonters, this year we have decided to survey the Campaign for Vermont followers about what issues impact their daily lives to most, what is most likely to improve the social and financial situation of a family, and what issues people would most like to see the legislature tackle. Here are the results!Read more
What is $2,000 to your family?
Email Blast Sent to Supporters on December 29, 2017. Subscribe!
What does $2000 mean for your family? Putting off an important dental procedure? Not being able to invest in your child’s college fund or send them to summer camp? Skipping vital home repairs? Not being able to travel to see family and friends? Perhaps it’s having to choose between being able to set the thermostat above 58 all winter, or eat nothing but rice and chicken until the snow thaws.Read more
Update: Rising Property Taxes
Email Blast Sent to Supporters on December 16, 2017. Subscribe!
Last month, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced that property taxes are increasing 9.4 cents in 2018, about a 7 percent increase. The average family with a $200,000 house will see an increase of $188 on their property tax bill. Act 46, the so-called education equality act, has not lived up to its promise to reduce statewide property taxes or reduce overall spending on education in Vermont It’s time to admit this and move on.Read more
Not a Conversation to Miss
Email Blast Sent to Supporters on October 12, 2017. Subscribe!
We were very excited to interview Governor Phil Scott last week about his first nine months in office. We covered a range of topics including an innovative approach to rural economic development called Vermont Outdoor Recreation Collaborative, cleaning up our waterways, his $26 million teachers health care proposal, and we also got is take on an EB-5 special prosecutor.
If you missed the live stream of the interview, you can find this and previous interviews at Vote802.com/watch.Read more
♦ Vermont public policy that fosters prosperity for ALL Vermonters from every corner of the state and all walks of life.
♦ 21st Century economic policies that foster the creation of family-sustaining jobs, with environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and a desirable quality of life.
♦ Political discourse that is data-driven and puts progress ahead of partisanship.
♦ State and local governments that are transparent and accountable, fostering a political atmosphere, and an administrative and communications infrastructure that promotes and encourages an engaged and active electorate.
Help us make our vision a reality
How we measure success:
Creating prosperity for ALL Vermonters
Vermont ranks 40th for cost of living in the US. Most northeastern states do not rank well under this metric, however nearly every one of them have a higher median income than Vermont. This means that while Vermont families have one of the highest costs of living in the country, they rank only slightly above the national average in household income. This inevitably means less discretionary spending on goods and services, recreation, and investment in property, and retirement than most Americans enjoy.
Vermont’s cost of living is currently 12% above the national average while household income is only 2% ahead of the country as a whole. Campaign for Vermont would like to see these two statistics converge. We need initiatives that will move our cost of living moving closer to the national average even as they help move effective household income to increase its margin above the national average.
CFV believes this is possible through targeted policy initiatives at workforce development, education, government accountability, and economic development focused on both our urbanized and rural populations.
Progress ahead of partisanship
CFV believes a non-partisan approach is critical to a healthy political discourse. Good ideas can, and do, come from anywhere. We need to be open to them.
Policy initiatives should be well thought through and have validated, comprehensive data supporting them. Too often our inadequately resourced lawmakers, dealing with insufficient or out-dated data, and under pressing time constraints, succumb to politically expediency and opt for the policy easiest to implement. This type of decision-making either reinforces the status quo or creates unnecessarily complicated, confusing, or inadequate legislation, failing to open up the discussion for real progress. CFV has and will continue to search for ways to engender fresh thinking in the law-making process and endeavor find ways to help lawmakers to set aside their political preconceptions and evaluate each policy proposal that comes before them with an open mind, no matter who proposes it.
As a measurement of bipartisanship we would look for fewer legislative votes split along party lines, with the goal of at least half of the bills introduced in the legislature to garner co-signers from both parties, and witness major Vermont political parties avoiding blanket statements about all members of an opposing party with the intent of forcing partisan divides.
A 21st Century Economy
It is well known that Vermont has a growing tech hub, but we need to focus on a strategy that allows for the creation of good-paying jobs across our state in both urban and rural settings to retain and attract talent. Vermont has 42,000 college students that move into the state every fall and every spring 10,000 of them graduate and start looking for jobs, yet Vermont’s employers are starving for qualified workers. We cannot stress enough the importance of connecting our institutions of higher learning with our employer base, this includes our private and public universities, state colleges, and technical education centers. An inadequate stock of workforce-priced housing is a serious barrier to retaining and attracting the talent the state needs. A major policy push is needed to catalyze the creation of workforce affordable housing.
A modern thriving and sustainable economy provides the state with revenue to reinvest in education, environmental, and social wellness programs that are so critical to our social contract. Without a strong economic base, meeting our social and environmental responsibilities will be difficult if not impossible. Building a viable economic base in a world experiencing unparalleled change in every sector of the human ecosphere will require fresh thinking with probing research into solutions being tried across the globe. We must seek out and borrow ideas and practices from successful 21st century initiatives wherever may find them.
Vermonters cherish a unique quality of life. Of course, most people have differing opinions on what quality of life is. Often it is a balance between a healthy society, civic engagement, the natural environment, recreational opportunities, cost of living, and economic prosperity. Essentially it is how happy one is with the lifestyle one is able to live. It is not just a nostalgic notion, indeed, it is something that Great Britain actually uses to evaluate government effectiveness. Visitors to Vermont recognize it and write about. Some, who have the means, move here and, if feasible move their business here with them. We must encourage this.
You can read more about our plan for a 21st century economy here: campaignforvermont.org/economic-development
An engaged and active electorate
Nothing is more critical to democracy than a participatory citizenry. Democracy does not work if the majority of its citizens stay home or do not make their voice heard. This is why CFV has chosen to be a voice for middle-class Vermonters – a demographic we believe to be under-represented in state politics. That being said, we will continue to encourage all Vermonters to be engaged and active in the political process.
CFV would like to see more attendance at town meeting day, legislative hearings open to the public, and engagement in online policy discussion forums.