Our Legislative Agenda

What do you want Vermont to look like?

Our State thrives on local control which means that we, the people, are responsible for the government. We tell government what to do; Government does not tell us what to do. Yet our state legislature continues to over-ride the Governors objection to laws which place an increasing tax burden on Vermonters. The legislature continues to enact bills which are offensive and costly. We already pay for drug rehabilitation centers to help the addicted so why did the legislature pass a bill so taxpayers will have to pay for locations where addicts can engage in their destructive behavior under medical supervision? Isn’t that aiding and abetting destructive behavior? 

We need to change the direction of Government and replace the legislature with responsible Vermonters who reflect the people’s wishes rather than cram down expensive laws. Below you will find Common Sense Proposals for the Future of Vermont followed by a history of recent laws passed by the legislature which increase your tax burden..    

G GLOBAL WARMING SOLUTIONS ACT REFORM

• Restore CO2 reduction mandates to goals

• Remove provision allowing anyone to sue the state at taxpayers expense

E EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE

• Get political agendas and gender ideologies out of the classroom!

• Repeal non-core curriculum mandates and emphasize reading, math, and science

T TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

• Fix our roads!

• Prioritize local projects to assist with flood mitigation and climate resiliency!

R REGULATORY REFORM

• Stream line Act 250 to reduce the cost of building new housing

E ENVIRONMENT

• Refocus environmental policy based on Vermont rather than the Paris Climate Accords

A AFFORDABILITY

• Pass a TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS limiting State Taxing/Spending

• Reform Education Funding

• No Carbon Tax on heating and motor fuels

L law and Order

• Fund and support Law Enforcement

• End catch and release and no bail for repeat offenders

 

Historical Voting Record of the Vermont State Legislature

 

Property Taxes (Act 64, Act 127)

Act 127/S.287 – An act relating to improving student equity by adjusting the school funding formula and providing education quality and funding oversight. This is the pupil weighting bill that is the primary legislative driver behind the unprecedented property tax increases Vermonters are facing today, and the source of confusion surrounding school budgets. The roll call vote referenced here, “shall the bill pass…”, was cast on April 28, 2022. 

Act 64/H.165 – An act relating to school food programs and universal school meals. This bill expanded the free school meals program to kids from all income levels. Given that low- and moderate-income students already benefited from a free and reduced meal program, Act 64 effectively raised our property taxes by an estimated 3¢/$100 ($29 million total) to pay for the food of upper-income students. The roll call vote reference here, “shall the bill pass…” was cast May 10, 2023. Governor Scott refused to sign it, and it became law without his signature. 

 

Home Heat Carbon Tax (Act 18/S.5)

Act 18/S.5 – An act relating to affordably meeting the mandated greenhouse gas reductions for the thermal sector through efficiency, weatherization measures, electrification, and decarbonization. This bill established the “Clean Heat Standard”, a Rube Goldberg carbon tax on home heating fuels (oil, propane, kerosene, and natural gas). Conservative estimates indicate when the program is scheduled to be implemented in 2025 the impact on a gallon of home heating will be at around 70 cents. Governor Scott vetoed this bill, but the Democrat supermajorities overrode that veto with the vote referenced here, “Shall the bill pass, notwithstanding the Governor’s refusal to approve the bill?” on May 11, 2023. 

 

New Payroll Taxes Act 76/H.217, H.66

Act 76/H.217 – An act relating to child care, early education, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance. This law established a new payroll tax of 0.44 percent on wage income and 0.11% on self-employed net income starting July 1, 2024. JFO estimates that the payroll tax is an $81.9 million tax increase on working Vermonters in FY 2025 in FY 2026, an estimated $92.7 million in FY2026. Governor Scott vetoed H.217, but the Democrat supermajorities overrode that veto with the vote referenced here, “Shall the bill pass, notwithstanding the Governor’s refusal to approve the bill?” on June 20, 2023, and it became law.

H.66 An act relating to paid family and medical leave insurance. This bill would have established a payroll tax of 0.55% of Vermonters’ earned wages up to 200% of the federal Social Security taxable maximum, a $117 million/year tax on working Vermonters. The House passed the bill on March 24, 2023. The roll call vote referenced here took place on March 23, 2023. The Senate did not take up the bill, so it did not become law. BUT NOTE: If we re-elect a supermajority of Democrats this fall, they will likely bring back Paid Family Leave, adding this payroll tax on top of the one passed in Act 76. 

 

DMV Fees (Act 62, H.479)

Act 62, H.479 – An act relating to the Transportation Program and miscellaneous changes to laws related to transportation. This vote established the roughly 20% increases for DMV fees that kicked in on January 1, 2023, a roughly $20 million “tax/fee” increase on Vermont drivers. The Agency did not request the fee increase, and Governor Scott was critical of the measure as unnecessary. The roll call vote referenced here, “Shall the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Ways and Means?” took place on March 30, 2023.

 

Doubling Legislative Pay (S.39)

S.39 – An act relating to compensation and benefits for members of the Vermont General Assembly. With this bill legislators voted to roughly double their own legislative salaries and grant themselves a health benefits package that Vermonters working in similar part time jobs would not qualify for. The objective of this bill seems to be to replace Vermont’s citizen legislature with a full-time, professional political class. S.39 passed both the House and Senate largely along party lines. Governor Scott vetoed the bill, and that veto was not challenged so the bill did not become law. However, a new version of the legislative pay raise bill surfaced in 2024, and if it fails and we re-elect a supermajority of Democrats again this fall, count on it returning in 2025! The roll call vote referenced here, “Shall the bill be read a third time?” Occurred on May 10, 2023. 

 

13% Spending Increase (Act 78/H.494)

Act 78/H.494 – An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government. “The Big Bill” implemented an $8.5 billion state budget for FY24, a 13% year over year increase in spending. Governor Scott vetoed H.494, citing, “across this budget and other bills, the Legislature’s tax, fee and spending decisions this session may add an average of nearly $1,200 to a household’s burden each year – on top of higher property tax bills and inflation, which have already consumed the increase in most people’s paychecks.” The Democrat supermajorities overrode that veto with the vote referenced here, “Shall the bill pass, notwithstanding the Governor’s refusal to approve the bill?” on June 20, 2023, and it became law.