By Guy Page
The number of Vermonters serving on state boards and commissions is growing. And so will their pay, if a new House bill becomes law.
H545, introduced Jan. 11 into the Vermont House, would increase the per diem pay for members of Vermont’s boards and commissions from $50 to $125. Most members of these appointed boards and commissions now receive $50, although some earn more. The bill stipulates, however, that no board member currently earning more than $125 would be paid less if H545 passes.
The bill would amend state law 32 V.S.A. § 1010, which governs the service and pay of board and commission members. This law also permits reimbursement for ‘actual and necessary’ expenses of board and commission members.
In recent years, the Legislature has created new task forces, commissions, and study committees to provide recommendations on education, climate, systemic racial injustice, and many other topics. The first year of the current biennium was particularly active, State Archivist Tanya Marshall reported to the Sunset Advisory Commission Dec. 16.
“The current dataset contains 243 state boards and commissions and 2,326 members or “seats,” which is a net gain of three state boards and commissions and 76 members or “seats” in comparison to last year. While the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration is currently reviewing the accuracy of the dataset, it does appear that the number of state boards and commissions as well as board and commission members grew following the first year of the 2021-2022 legislative session,” Marshall said.
Vermont Daily Chronicle was unable to determine current budget allocations for the state’s board and commissions.
The bill is sponsored by Reps. Christie of Hartford, Austin of Colchester, Bluemle of Burlington, Coffey of Guilford, Colston of Winooski, Cordes of Lincoln, Dolan of Waitsfield, Goldman of Rockingham, Killacky of South Burlington, Rogers of Waterville, Small of Winooski, Vyhovsky of Essex, and Wood of Waterbury. Most of these legislators – all Democrats and/or Progressives – are strong supporters of legislation opposing systemic racial injustice, and other ‘progressive’ issues.