GOP lawmaker opposes pay hike, budget

by Rep. Arthur Peterson (Rutland-2 House District)

A couple days ago Governor Scott vetoed S.39, the general assembly pay raise bill. It passed the House on a 102-44 roll call vote. I voted NO because the FY2024 budget burdens Vermont taxpayers with far too many raised taxes and fees.

Here are the provisions of the bill:

S.39 legislative pay increases:

Year and Weekly SalaryIndividual TotalAll 180 LegislatorsIncrease from 2023
2023/24 Legislative salary= $812/week$14616/leg.$2.63M
2023/24 Adjournment pay=0n/an/a
2023/24 Total$14616/leg.$2.63Mn/a
2025 Legislative salary= $1000/week$18000/leg.$3.24M
*Adjournment pay=$200/week$6800/leg.$1.22M
2025 Total$24800/leg.$4.46M$1.83M
2026 Legislative salary= $1100/week$19800/leg.$3.56M
*Adjournment pay=$220/week$7480/leg.$1.35M
2026 Total$27280/leg.$4.91M$2.28M
2027 Legislative salary=$1210/week$21780/leg.$3.92M
*Adjournment pay=$242/week$8228/leg.$1.48M
2027 Total$30008/leg.$5.40M$2.77M

Per diem:

  • meals=$69/day
  • hotel=$135/day
  • mileage=$.655/mile
Rep. Arthur Peterson

S.39 additional pay not currently allowed:

*Adjournment pay (see above)= 1/5th of weekly pay for 34 weeks not in session, this is optional, not mandated

Other salary enhancements: Newly elected members will be paid 1/5th the weekly salary for every day they attend an orientation training for new legislators.

S.39 legislative health insurance coverage:

Members of the legislature will now be considered employees and thus eligible for the health insurance plans offered to other state employees. Premiums paid by legislators will be the same as paid by the Governor.

I proposed an amendment to the bill that would shorten the legislative session from the current 18 weeks to 12 weeks, thus saving the taxpayer money. The amendment was rejected on a roll call vote of 34-112. 

As I mentioned earlier, not only has the legislature established additional payroll taxes and raised fees on Vermonters, but you will now pay more for the privilege of having us do this to you! A course correction is needed in 2024.

The author is Vermont House of Representatives member for Clarendon, West Rutland, Wallingford, Tinmouth, and Proctor. He is a United States Military Academy (West Point) graduate, class of 1973 and has resided in Clarendon since 1978. He is married, has four grown children and twelve grandchildren.

Categories: Commentary

3 replies »

  1. How about a counter proposal? They meet every other year for 6 weeks, and no pay increase .

  2. Arrogance is the driving factor for most of our current legislators and apparently they are willing to reward themselves for it. Population poll of 2020 consisted of 640,000 people in VT. Which includes non-working children, retirees and people on disabilities vs a 8.5Billion dollar budget! I hope people wake up before VT goes belly up! Do the math.

  3. W ell Art if they are going to be “employees” of the state that means they can be fired if we don’t like what they’re doing. And we don’t like what is going on in Montpelier soooo

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