Legislative Update- February 6, 2023
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While the majority of pandemic restrictions have been lifted at the State House, the legislative session will continue to be accessible online:
|Last week the legislature was in full tilt working on its priorities and releasing bills that had been long speculated.
A week after the "Rand Report" was delivered to the public outlining a $300-400 million/year plan to tackle child care costs and suggested taxes the first child care bill was released in the Senate bill S.56. The bill came as a surprise to many who expected the recommendations from the rand report to become law. The "act related to child care and early childhood education" was short of the ask of the childcare advocates leaving out significant recommendations of the report including guarantees of payment for providers, costs to eligible parents and a source of funding. The bill instead expanded a pre-K program to include children as young as 4 years old, added money to existing assistance programs and outlined an educational department expansion with a new director who would work along side the existing director. The costs in the bill have not been explained or how it would be paid for so your lobbying team will report back as information rolls out.
Another signature piece of legislation was introduced this year which had been vetoed in previous bienniums. The paid family leave act was reintroduced with a payroll tax of .58% which would be split between the employer and employee, a 12 week full wage replacement for people on leave and some expansion of eligibility. The bill has 103 sponsors is expected to pass as this bill has been a priority that was regularly vetoed before the Democratic supermajority that was elected last year which has the ability to push the bill through without support of any other party or the administration. Business advocates including the AGC/VT lobbying team will be monitoring the bill and making suggestions to improve the outcome. You can view a breakdown of the benefits and costs associated compared to other states in our region by CLICKING HERE to download a report supplied by William Shouldice and Associates who are a part of your lobbying team.
AGC/VT was scheduled to testify this week in the House Commerce Committee on some expansions to eligibility of unemployment insurance including reasons like domestic violence, rape, childcare, and serious injury outside the workplace. The Vermont Department of Labor went before business groups and took a very long time to introduce some of the basics of the unemployment system prior to testimony of the bill so the business advocates have been rescheduled to Wednesday, February 8 at 9am. To watch the session and Matt Musgrave from the AGC/VT lobbying team CLICK HERE for the Commerce Youtube page.
If you would like to participate with the Government Affairs Committee contact firstname.lastname@example.org.