Legislative Session 2017

The League is nonpartisan, but it is political, and takes action on selected governmental issues based on a firm foundation of positions derived from careful study. Action includes lobbying on legislation at every level of government. Current action priorities for the LWVVT include:
  • Ethics Commission
  • Clean Water + Funding for Clean & Clear Program
  • Early Childhood and Daycare Programs
  • Health Care + Universal Primary Care
  • State Bank
  • Gun Safety

ETHICS COMMISSION

The League supports establishment of a state Ethics Commission. We work for good government, transparency, accountability and responsiveness in our public officials at every level. Vermont is one of three states without financial disclosure laws. There must be an independent ethics commission insulated from the influence of politics, cronyism, and officials whose departments and operations it regulates.

H.113, H.121 and S.8 seek to establish a Vermont Ethics Commission. H.113 and H.121 are in Committee. S.8 passed the Senate and is in committee in the House. The League opposes S.8 in its present form as the Commission will not have enforcement authority or the resources to do a good job.

CLEAN WATER + FUNDING FOR CLEAN & CLEAR PROGRAM

The League supports clean water initiatives and is concerned about future funding of the Clean Water Fund. Established in 2015 with three years seed funding, the Fund provides supplementary revenues to municipalities, farmers, businesses, and property owners. This helps implement actions that will secure and safeguard access to clean and safe water and reduce pollution in Vermont's rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. The state is currently reviewing stable funding sources for a long-term, sustainable solution.

H.95 proposes redirecting 25 percent of the property transfer tax from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board to the Clean Water Fund for the 20 years needed to implement the Clean Water Initiative. The bill is currently in Committee. The League supports H.95.

EARLY CHILDHOOD AND DAYCARE PROGRAMS

The League advocates for policies and programs that promote the well-being, development, and safety of all children. We believe quality child care needs to be available, accessible, and affordable to families for children of all ages.

H.10, H. 326, H.375 relate to childcare subsidies and credits.

HEALTH CARE + UNIVERSAL PRIMARY CARE

The League strongly recommends making primary care free for all Vermonters. Primary care is care received from family doctors, pediatricians, internists, and nurse practitioners and includes mental health and substance abuse treatment. Accessible, publicly funded health care improves the health of the patient, saves money, and is an investment in public health. View our position here.

H.248 and S.53 relate to a universal, publicly financed primary care system.

STATE BANK

The League promotes establishment of a State Bank for economic development and infrastructure. Bonds will be issued to reduce state dependence on fossil fuels through weatherization and renewable energy projects and loans made to individuals (housing, student loans), agriculture, and business.

S.48, H.208 creates the Commission on the State Bank of Vermont. Bills are in committee with no action anticipated.

GUN SAFETY

The League believes proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons is a major health and safety threat. We favor regulation of firearms for consumer safety and background checks on all gun sales.