by Rep. Gina Galfetti
And so, the Buffalos are running off the cliff. The House has passed three terrible bills this week: H.165 Universal School Lunch; H.66 Paid Family Leave; and H. 230. The Suicide Reduction (Anti-Gun) Bill. As I mentioned when I started these reports, a lot of bad legislation is coming down the pipe this year, and so it has. Vermonters are going to be strapped with many new financial burdens. They will have their liberty infringed. And the only bright spot is that perhaps finally voters will turn out and fix the mess in Montpelier.
There is no longer any balance in the State House. The Democrats with their super majority have the legislature in a deadly choke hold. They can freely pass whatever legislation they want, and a Governor’s veto is a simple inconvenience, a bump in the road; it is no longer a tool for the moderation of radical law. Republicans effectively have no voice. We propose amendments and make passionate floor speeches, but all our words and appeals fall on the deaf ears of a majority drunk on power and ignorant to reality. Our caucus leader might just as well be the curator of the State House, because we are about as useful as the draperies.
In the first place, we are spending a huge portion of the surplus we have enjoyed in the last few years by creating an unnecessary state-run program for paid family leave, with, of course, benefits that are more generous than any similar program offered by any other state. I say unnecessary because Governor Scott has already created a reasonable program for paid family leave that would not cause an increase in taxes. However his comprehensive program was not enough with 65% wage replacement.
Instead, the Democrats are creating a program that will pay out like a slot machine! Folks will be able to take 12 weeks off with 90% wage reimbursement. Both mothers and fathers will now have 3 months when their child is born, a loved one needs care, or they experience a traumatic event. They will also have 2 weeks for a death in the family. And while they are on leave, the state will pay them 90% of their usual earnings!! On the surface this is a wonderful thing, but it comes with a heavy cost in the form of a payroll tax of .55 % that is not regulated by the legislature but can be raised up to 1 % by the secretary of the program. The program is mandatory for any employer that has even a single employee, and while proponents of the bill claim this will not drive up the cost of goods and services, it will most certainly will drive up costs, for how else can employers make up that money?
To start this program, the state will create a new Division of Family and Medical Leave and staff it with 9 new employees at a cost of $37,000,000.00. But these figures are just the beginning and are the result of an amendment offered by the Appropriations Committee. A more realistic assessment of the costs and personnel needed to operate this program once it gets going is the $112,000,000.00, 15 new Tax Department employees, 17 new employees in the new Division of Family and Medical Leave, plus 24 new more employees in the Division in 2026 that was proposed by the Committee on Ways and Means, and the state will develop its own computer system to manage the program, despite the long history of failures the state has with computer programs.
And all of this is unnecessary, because Governor Scott’s program for state employees does not require new taxes and will be run by an insurance company with over a century of actuarial and management experience. The Scott administration is willing to open its program, on a voluntary basis, to employers and employees statewide; all it would take is legislative approval, but this legislature would prefer to say “no, we’ll do it ourselves, more expensively and with much less certainty.” What, pray tell, could go wrong?
The next pill that the taxpayer will have to swallow is our pledge to provide universal school meals. Once again, this is a laudable goal reached by a path that is twisted and flawed. The object is to make sure that all students have access to school lunch; the problem is that some children come from families that cannot afford to pay for those lunches. There is a simple solution: give those low-income students free or reduced-price lunches. But under the present system, the voucher for free lunches reveals the financial status of the students receiving those free lunches, and that can be embarrassing. So once again, there is a simple solution: give every child the same type of debit card, so that no one can tell by looking at the card whether it is free, paid for in full, or paid for at a reduced rate.
Once again, the Democratic super-majority has decided to ignore the simple solution and instead opts to buy free lunches for all students, even those students who are making upwards of a million dollars a year! That accomplishes the objective—school lunches for every student, and no way to tell who has paid for a lunch (i.e., nobody) and who has received a free lunch (i.e., everybody.) The cost of this unwise decision is estimate at between $28 and $33 million annually! That cost is set to be paid from the state Education Fund, which is funded largely by property taxes, as well as sales taxes—two of the most regressive taxes we have!
So these regressive taxes will penalize those with the lowest incomes who purchase taxable goods and who will see their rents raised by property owners who have no choice but to pass along the tax increase. Notwithstanding rebate programs long in effect, the folks in the lowest of income brackets till now be burdened with further financial hardship, achieving the exact opposite of what the supporters of this bill claim to be accomplishing.
And finally, H.230 (the so called “Suicide Prevention Act”) will limit our personal liberty. If this bill is given final approval, you will be required to lock up your guns in your home and separate them from the ammunition. You will need to secure your gun in such a way that it will be rendered useless in the event of a home invasion or other dangerous situation in the home. Our Second Amendment rights are stomped on once again, this time in the name of preventing suicide, but in reality, other states that have passed such laws have not seen a reduction in firearm-related suicides. This is feel-good legislation, plain and simple, that reaps nothing except increased campaign contributions from the anti-gun lobby.
So there you have it, folks: the ongoing slide toward the implementation of programs that will have steep ongoing costs and continuing attacks on our personal liberty and constitutional rights.
Gina Galfetti is the Representative for the Washington/Orange District and can be contacted at: 802.461.3520 or email@example.com
Categories: Rep. Gina Galfetti's Floor Report
Vermont. Gone With The Marxist Wind.
……Yet the PEOPLE they “serve” largely remain dumb and thus: SILENT, thereby prepping to vote in the same power mongers yet again. Further, the IMPOTENT Vermont GOP does NOTHING to educate the populace on the goings-on in Montpelier whilst the mass media & social media LIE through distortions and omissions.
We are indeed being led like sheep to the slaughter. But in the very end, GOD wins and those who are a part of the mechanism destroying this state & nation & literally killing innocents (Covid19 was released with intent & with a purpose) will pay the ultimate price. Eternity is such a very long time I’ve heard.
Thank you Gina ! Now I am going to make a comparison between what legislators are doing to taxpayers, and what winter ticks do to moose. Much like ticks, legislators in Montpelier are sucking the blood from a once healthy, proud, independent host, until it is so weak, it can no longer fend for it’s self. Unlike the moose, we can rid ourselves of these blood sucking leaches, and we’d better do it before to many people are so reliant on hand outs that they can not survive without them. Vote Republican !
Thank you Gina for taking the time to write.
Those of us who pay attention are fully aware of the majority of Vermont Legislators who are tyrants leading the State of Vermont to full blown Marxism.
While thinking, reasoning persons can clearly see their absolute lunacy and destruction, their depraved minds have them fully believing in their fear-filled, earth worshiping worldview where the Constitution and the lives of human beings don’t matter at all.
I don’t know how much more depravity has to take place before voters will wake up and revolt. OR, maybe we just don’t know how fixed our elections are?
Fun facts: Has anyone noticed the US National Debt Clock shows the dollar to oil, gold, and silver ratios is 0 – and it has been 0 since February 2023? The federal debt to GDP ratio is 120%. The figures reported are as astounding as they are impossible to correct at this juncture. Whatever hallucinogens being ingested under the Golden Dome, the fact of the matter is you can’t solve insolvency with more insolvency. The USA is broke. The dollar is dead. The economy is about to hit a BRICS wall. While citizens are being distracted with utter nonsense, China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and now Mexico are all agreeing to trade in currency other than the US petro dollar. No matter the fairytales being told, there is no means to pay for any of it when the currency collapses. We are a third world country and the real numbers don’t lie – the biggest liars are our elected officials and media.
Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys must be rolling over in their graves. Can you imagine what he’d think of today’s Vermont? I venture he’d be wondering why no present day Vermonter has followed in his footsteps, and he’d be thinking it’s about time we had another Revolution
Don’t worry, tougher times are ahead
We can only hope tougher times are ahead…some people don’t get it and won’t until they cant eat or have a roof over their heads. Then and only then will they vote differently….that is IF our votes are actually being fairly entered and counted
It is beyond time to talk about stolen elections. None of them were stolen. All votes were counted. And the reason the Dems have a super majority is they keep winning the elections. By huge margins, so stop complaining and start running for office.
Vermont has perfected the art of stealing elections. Fred Tuttle, Liam Madden ….
And what have the leaders of the two (mainly) factions of the R party done to try to strengthen the base through unification? Instead we head down the same road election after election, expecting a different result, and allowing the D’s to hijack the party when the R’s are not looking.
She is great! Draperies!! One clarification though, the kids will still know who gets the free lunch, by the clothes, parents cars, ect. We will have to equalize all of this too.
H.230 – who is going to go door to door to make sure your gun(s) are locked up? What a crock!! well guess what I don’t compost and I won’t lockup my guns!!!
Guess what? I’ve got ya beat! I throw away household garbage…….in my garbage! Try to trump that!
How do you organize a statewide protest? This has to stop!
ANSWER….VT GOP???? Former GOP Candidates?? Just the usual: CRICKETS.
There is nothing in the US or state Constitution about locking your weapons up, so you can’t use them. So these commies can stick it.