October 1, 2020 •

Vermont Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Vermont Capitol Building

The Vermont General Assembly adjourned sine die on September 25. The Legislature normally adjourns in May but was extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers adjusted to the pandemic by holding remote online meetings. During the remote legislative session, lawmakers […]

The Vermont General Assembly adjourned sine die on September 25.

The Legislature normally adjourns in May but was extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers adjusted to the pandemic by holding remote online meetings.

During the remote legislative session, lawmakers were able to pass bills relating to the 2021 fiscal year budget, police reform, and a land use reform.

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August 24, 2020 •

Vermont Legislature Reconvenes

Vermont Capitol Building

On August 25, the Vermont General Assembly will reconvene the legislative session to discuss the governor’s proposed 2021 budget. Lawmakers will return to a virtual statehouse and all meetings will be conducted remotely. The budget public hearings will be available […]

On August 25, the Vermont General Assembly will reconvene the legislative session to discuss the governor’s proposed 2021 budget.

Lawmakers will return to a virtual statehouse and all meetings will be conducted remotely.

The budget public hearings will be available to watch live on YouTube at the following link: https://legislature.vermont.gov/committee/streaming/house-appropriations.

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March 16, 2020 •

Vermont Legislature Adjourns Until March 24

Vermont Capitol Building

On March 13, the Legislature adjourned until Tuesday, March 24, due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. The State House will be closed for cleaning and all staff except essential security and IT personnel will work remotely. Legislative leaders will reevaluate whether […]

On March 13, the Legislature adjourned until Tuesday, March 24, due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

The State House will be closed for cleaning and all staff except essential security and IT personnel will work remotely.

Legislative leaders will reevaluate whether to extend the break after the one-week closure.

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February 26, 2020 •

Vermont State Rep. Matt Trieber Resigns

Vermont Capitol Building

On February 14, State Rep. Matt Trieber announced his resignation from the Windham-3 District. Trieber resigned his legislative seat to focus on his job as a youth counselor. Gov. Phil Scott will appoint a nominee to fill the vacancy from […]

On February 14, State Rep. Matt Trieber announced his resignation from the Windham-3 District.

Trieber resigned his legislative seat to focus on his job as a youth counselor.

Gov. Phil Scott will appoint a nominee to fill the vacancy from the same party as the departing representative.

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May 30, 2019 •

Vermont General Assembly Adjourns Sine Die

Vermont Capitol Building

The Vermont General Assembly adjourned sine die on May 29. During the session the Legislature introduced a bill changing lobbying reporting dates from the 15th to the 3rd of the month. Lawmakers also introduced Senate Bill 157, proposing to grant […]

The Vermont General Assembly adjourned sine die on May 29.

During the session the Legislature introduced a bill changing lobbying reporting dates from the 15th to the 3rd of the month.

Lawmakers also introduced Senate Bill 157, proposing to grant the ethics commission authority to adopt an enforceable code of ethics, adjudicate complaints, and impose penalties upon finding a violation.

Both bills will carryover to 2020 as they failed to pass this legislative session.

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July 2, 2018 •

Vermont Special Session Adjourns Sine Die

The Vermont special session adjourned sine die on June 29. Gov. Phil Scott called the special session after vowing to veto the budget bill passed last month to prevent tax rate increases. On Monday, Scott announced his intention to let […]

The Vermont special session adjourned sine die on June 29.

Gov. Phil Scott called the special session after vowing to veto the budget bill passed last month to prevent tax rate increases.

On Monday, Scott announced his intention to let the third version of the budget bill become law without his signature to prevent a government shutdown on July 1.

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May 23, 2018 •

Vermont Lawmakers Reconvene for Special Session

Lawmakers reconvene today in Montpelier for a special session called by Gov. Phil Scott. The focus of the special session will be on the state budget and property tax bills passed by the General Assembly during the regular session. Gov. […]

Lawmakers reconvene today in Montpelier for a special session called by Gov. Phil Scott.

The focus of the special session will be on the state budget and property tax bills passed by the General Assembly during the regular session.

Gov. Scott has signaled to the Legislature his plan to veto both bills in their present form.

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May 17, 2018 •

Vermont Governor Calls Special Session

Gov. Phil Scott called a special session for May 23, 2018. The governor is planning to veto the state budget and property tax bills passed during the regular session. Gov. Scott has promised to veto any legislation that increases taxes […]

Gov. Phil Scott called a special session for May 23, 2018. The governor is planning to veto the state budget and property tax bills passed during the regular session.

Gov. Scott has promised to veto any legislation that increases taxes or fees. If vetoed, the Legislature has until the end of June to pass a spending bill before the new fiscal year commences on July 1.

Lawmakers hope Gov. Scott will sign the current bills and make the special session unnecessary.

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May 14, 2018 •

Vermont Legislature Adjourns Sine Die and Passes Electioneering Bill

The Vermont General Assembly adjourned sine die May 12. Lawmakers passed a bill to amend campaign finance provisions relating to electioneering communications and mass media activities. House Bill 828 revises the definition of electioneering communications to include electronic or digital […]

The Vermont General Assembly adjourned sine die May 12.

Lawmakers passed a bill to amend campaign finance provisions relating to electioneering communications and mass media activities.

House Bill 828 revises the definition of electioneering communications to include electronic or digital communications and adds internet advertisements to the definition of mass media activity.

The bill also makes it permissible to include a link that takes a reader to a web or social media page that provides the required information on electioneering communications broadcast over the internet when it cannot practically meet the identification requirements otherwise.

House Bill 828 also requires local candidates to file an additional report on the Friday preceding a local election.

If Gov. Phil Scott approves the bill, the electioneering changes are effective upon passage and the reporting requirements for candidates takes effect December 14, 2018.

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June 15, 2017 •

Vermont Governor Signs Ethics Bill

Gov. Phil Scott signed Senate Bill 8 today, approving the creation of a state code of ethics and a state ethics commission. The five-member commission will review cases of unethical behavior and, if necessary, send the case to the attorney […]

Gov. Phil Scott signed Senate Bill 8 today, approving the creation of a state code of ethics and a state ethics commission.

The five-member commission will review cases of unethical behavior and, if necessary, send the case to the attorney general. The bill also prohibits former lawmakers and executive officers from lobbying for one year after leaving office and prohibits businesses from entering into certain contracts with state offices where they have made campaign contributions.

The new revolving door provision takes effect on July 1, 2017 and the contractor contribution restrictions take effect on December 16, 2018.

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May 19, 2017 •

Vermont Legislature Adjourns, Special Session Likely

The Vermont Legislature adjourned the 2017 regular session today, May 19, 2017. Lawmakers delayed adjournment by more than a week as they continued negotiations on the state budget. The budget includes a health insurance savings program for teachers, as demanded […]

The Vermont Legislature adjourned the 2017 regular session today, May 19, 2017. Lawmakers delayed adjournment by more than a week as they continued negotiations on the state budget.

The budget includes a health insurance savings program for teachers, as demanded by Gov. Phil Scott in the eleventh hour of the session. With little time to create the proposal, the final version passed by both houses is expected to meet the governor’s veto stamp and the specter of a special session looms.

Also passed by both houses, and awaiting the governor’s action, is a bill to establish a state ethics commission and a state code of ethics.

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May 4, 2017 •

Vermont Moves a Step Closer to Creating a State Ethics Commission

The Vermont House approved Senate Bill 8, a measure establishing a state ethics commission and providing greater transparency from those seeking public office. If both houses can agree on a final version, a five-member ethics commission would accept complaints and […]

The Vermont House approved Senate Bill 8, a measure establishing a state ethics commission and providing greater transparency from those seeking public office.

If both houses can agree on a final version, a five-member ethics commission would accept complaints and assign them to other agencies for investigation. The commission would also compile a report on complaints for the legislature.

The bill would require financial disclosures from candidates and their spouses, with the Senate version requiring disclosure of income tax returns. The bill also prohibits lawmakers and other high-level employees from becoming a lobbyist for one year after leaving office and restricts holders of certain no-bid contracts from making campaign contributions.

A conference committee will now work out the differences before sending the bill to the governor. Vermont is one of five states without a state ethics commission.

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February 14, 2017 •

Vermont Governor’s Staffers Urged to Avoid Sharing a Pint with Lawmakers, Lobbyists

Gov. Phil Scott issued an informal directive to staff and administrative personnel to stay clear of legislators and lobbyists in social situations. The governor is taking aim at the after-hours restaurant and bar scene in Montpelier where staff, lawmakers, and […]

gov-phil-scottGov. Phil Scott issued an informal directive to staff and administrative personnel to stay clear of legislators and lobbyists in social situations.

The governor is taking aim at the after-hours restaurant and bar scene in Montpelier where staff, lawmakers, and lobbyists are typically seen commingling.

Those in favor of the governor’s directive welcome the crackdown, while others believe forbidden fraternization is impossible to avoid given the small-town nature of the state capital.

Others are concerned the rule will hurt business owners who rely on these social outings for revenue.

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February 9, 2017 •

Vermont Increases Contribution Limits

Vermont has increased contribution limits to candidates, PACs, and political parties. By statute, contribution limits are reevaluated and adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index. A 2.1 percent increase was implemented allowing statewide candidates and PACs to receive $4,080 per […]

Flag of VermontVermont has increased contribution limits to candidates, PACs, and political parties.

By statute, contribution limits are reevaluated and adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index. A 2.1 percent increase was implemented allowing statewide candidates and PACs to receive $4,080 per election cycle, state Senate candidates to receive $1,530, and state representative candidates to receive $1,020.

Each limit applies to contributions from a single source or PAC.

This change is effective for two years, and thereafter, increases will apply for the term of two two-year general election cycles.

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