Legislative Update- May 21, 2021
As I am writing this update I am listening to the last day of the 2021 legislative session. Hampered by COVID-19 restrictions causing us to have to meet with state leaders and other advocates remotely we are seeing the fruits of our labor cross the finish line. To date there has only been one veto which was on a bill related to youth arrests and public identification. It is unclear whether the assembly will come back for a summer veto session or take up the veto next January. Hopefully in person.
Around 5pm on Thursday, May 20th we listened to the Vermont Senate send S.62 to Governor Scott. The bill which originally extended Vermonts relocating worker program had the language from S.10 the unemployment bill AGC/VT has aggressively been pursuing. The major victory in the unemployment bill was inclusion of the "2020 fix" which will save employers over $400 million in unemployment taxes over the next 10 years. Other provisions in the bill include a study on UI fraud, relief of experience ratings for 2020 COVID-19 related layoffs and a $25/week supplemental payment to those on UI following the end of Federal UI benefits in September. The additional benefit was fought hard by AGC/VT and other business groups but in the end was a political price that had to be paid to get the "2020 fix". Without the fix employers would be on the hook to repay almost $800 million to unemployment in the next 10 years.
There are other bills including the AOT/BGS Capital budgets that includes almost $1 billion in spending throughout Vermont over the next 2 years and policy issues. The lobbying team will release a detailed rundown of our victories this year and follow up with a Mid Week Meet presentation. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!