Legislative Update- March 4, 2024
Sunday, March 3, 2024
by: Matt Musgrave

Section: Legislative Update

Having now arrived at Vermonts town meeting week the pressure will be on the legislators to meet their constituents to share their wins so far this session. Of all the policy issues at the front of mind for voters will be the impending unknown property tax increase. Legislators will have to explain to the voters how we ended up with the possibility, or more likely inevitability, of serious increases to property taxes including some over 20%. No matter what they say the stakes are high due to this being an election year so the "D's and P's" will be on defensive while the "R's" are likely to attempt to capitalize on this issue. That said, they will have some positive issues to share with constituents.

For instance, the electorate will be happy to know that halfway through the session the legislature has taken some big steps forward and hopefully by crossover next Friday they will pass some of those out. The Senate proposed "BeHome" act to increase opportunities to build housing has passed its initial test in the Economic Development and Housing Committee and now its up to the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee to move the bill to a floor vote. This does seem unlikely though as there are only four working days left to crossover and as of now the committee does not appear to have time to pass the committee due to expected testimony requests that would extend pass Fridays deadline.

The capital and transportation budgets are on the right path in their respective committees largely following the Governors budget recommendations. The transportation budget will likely pass with a three percent increase making another record year and the continuing budget resolution for the capitol budget is on track.

Its unknown what to expect when the legislators return to the statehouse after crossover but it will likely be a mandate from taxpayers to reign in spending and new revenue requirements. AGC/VT will continue to advocate for fiscal responsibility and preservation of Vermonts value to its residents.