House joins Senate in giving Legislature a big raise, benefits hike

By Guy Page

The Vermont House yesterday joined the Vermont Senate in giving the next and every future Legislature a steep raise, plus adjournment pay, plus State of Vermont employee-level health care benefits, plus several other benefits that, when toted up, equal almost $50,000 (estimated) per legislator

S.39 also offers State of Vermont employee-level health care benefits beginning with next year’s Legislature. The weekly pay hike from $811 to $1000 would begin in 2025, rise another $1000 in 2026, and total $1210 by 2027.

In yesterday’s vote, S.39 passed 102-44. The House is scheduled to vote on S.39 again today for the third and final reading. S.39 also would create a commission to study changes in how often the Legislature meets – including, possibly, meeting more often than the current habit of 18-20 weeks.

The House amended the bill slightly from the Senate version, so the two versions will need to be reconciled by House and Senate. Then the bill would go to Gov. Phil Scott, who has said he would support a pay hike if the Legislature could limit itself to three months. 

Six Democrats and every Republican voted against S.39. The Democrats No votes are listed in bold:

Andrews of Westford

Bartley of Fairfax

Beck of St. Johnsbury

Branagan of Georgia

Brennan of Colchester

Burditt of West Rutland

Canfield of Fair Haven

Clifford of Rutland City

Corcoran of Bennington

Demar of Enosburgh

Demrow of Corinth

Dickinson of St. Albans Town

Galfetti of Barre Town

Goslant of Northfield

Graham of Williamstown

Gregoire of Fairfield

Hango of Berkshire

Harrison of Chittenden

Higley of Lowell

Hooper of Randolph

Labor of Morgan

Laroche of Franklin

Leavitt of Grand Isle

Lipsky of Stowe

Maguire of Rutland City

Marcotte of Coventry

Mattos of Milton

McCoy of Poultney

McFaun of Barre Town

Morgan of Milton

Morrissey of Bennington

Oliver of Sheldon

Page of Newport City

Peterson of Clarendon

Roberts of Halifax

Shaw of Pittsford

Taylor of Milton

Walker of Swanton

Williams of Granby

Wilson of Lyndon

Donahue of Northfield *

Parsons of Newbury *

Smith of Derby *

Toof of St. Albans Town *

(asterisk denotes on-the-record comments listed in House Journal)

Four Republicans explained their “no” vote in statements recorded in today’s House Journal:

“Rushing to raise pay and benefits in statute to ‘make progress’ for 2025, prior to hearing from a study due back in 2024 that may propose yet further pay and benefit increases, is disingenuous to the extreme.” – Rep. Anne Donahue (R-Northfield).

“Morally I cannot support this bill. To offset the burden of this session’s tax and fee increases, we are raising salaries…for ourselves. Better luck next time Vermonters.” – Rep. Joe Parsons (R-Newbury). 

“I truly hope that the voters of Vermont will remember this day. I hope they remember who gave themselves a full-time job and a raise at their expense! This is an embarrassment! Shame on all of you!” – Rep. Brian Smith (R-Derby). 

“I vote no because the audacity it takes to raise our pay by 50% while simultaneously raising our budget by 13% and numerous taxes and fees is unconscionable.” – Rep. Casey Toof (R-St. Albans)

Legislators voting yes:

Birong of Vergennes *

Bluemle of Burlington *

Boyden of Cambridge *

Brown of Richmond *

Chase of Chester *

Chesnut-Tangerman of Middletown Springs *

Goldman of Rockingham *

Notte of Rutland City *

Pouech of Hinesburg *

Rachelson of Burlington *

Stone of Burlington *

Whitman of Bennington *

Williams of Barre City *

Andriano of Orwell

Anthony of Barre City

Arrison of Weathersfield

Arsenault of Williston

Austin of Colchester

Bartholomew of Hartland

Berbeco of Winooski

Black of Essex

Bongartz of Manchester

Bos-Lun of Westminster

Brady of Williston

Brumsted of Shelburne

Burke of Brattleboro

Burrows of West Windsor

Buss of Woodstock

Campbell of St. Johnsbury

Carpenter of Hyde Park

Carroll of Bennington

Casey of Montpelier

Chapin of East Montpelier

Chase of Colchester

Christie of Hartford

Cina of Burlington

Coffey of Guilford

Cole of Hartford

Conlon of Cornwall

Cordes of Lincoln

Dodge of Essex

Dolan of Essex Junction

Dolan of Waitsfield

Durfee of Shaftsbury

Elder of Starksboro

Emmons of Springfield

Farlice-Rubio of Barnet

Garofano of Essex

Graning of Jericho

Headrick of Burlington

Holcombe of Norwich

Hooper of Burlington

Houghton of Essex Junction

Howard of Rutland City

Hyman of South Burlington

James of Manchester

Jerome of Brandon

Kornheiser of Brattleboro

Krasnow of South Burlington

LaBounty of Lyndon

Lalley of Shelburne

LaLonde of South Burlington

LaMont of Morristown

Lanpher of Vergennes

Logan of Burlington

Long of Newfane

Masland of Thetford

McCann of Montpelier

McCarthy of St. Albans City

McGill of Bridport

Mihaly of Calais

Minier of South Burlington

Morris of Springfield

Mrowicki of Putney

Mulvaney-Stanak of Burlington

Nicoll of Ludlow

Noyes of Wolcott

Nugent of South Burlington

O’Brien of Tunbridge

Ode of Burlington

Pajala of Londonderry

Patt of Worcester

Priestley of Bradford

Rice of Dorset

Satcowitz of Randolph

Scheu of Middlebury

Sheldon of Middlebury

Sibilia of Dover

Sims of Craftsbury

Small of Winooski

Squirrell of Underhill

Stebbins of Burlington

Stevens of Waterbury

Surprenant of Barnard

Taylor of Colchester

Templeman of Brownington

Toleno of Brattleboro

Torre of Moretown

Troiano of Stannard

Waters Evans of Charlotte

White of Bethel

Wood of Waterbury

“It is a privilege to serve in this body. It is also out of reach for too many. I vote ‘Yes’ to provide others the possibility of this service.” – Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (D-Middleton Springs)

“In my five years here, I have been disappointed to watch several representatives – from multiple parties – arrive, begin to make an impact for their communities, but then decide they couldn’t remain in office because they simply could not afford to do so. These representatives were primarily younger – working age, raising families. Without an increase in legislative pay we silence the voices of thousands of Vermonters – we essentially lock the doors of the State House to people whose voices would be extremely valuable as we work to best serve all Vermonters.” Rep. William Notte (D-Rutland)

“Public Service shouldn’t equate to poverty. We don’t pay the Governor or other state public servants, so poorly or fail to give them any benefits. Being a State representative and holding a job or jobs isn’t easy, as I, and so many other current and former legislators have experienced.” – Rep. Barbara Rachelson (D-Burlington)

Categories: Legislation

16 replies »

  1. Sad really, self serving politicians.
    What I’d like to see is all legislatures become voluntary service, then we’d really see who is a true patriot & loves this country/state/town, otherwise they’re likely all in it for long term $$$ of being a career politician brings!

  2. Now we know who the democrats are really work for – themselves.
    Wish they were working as hard for the benefit of the rest of us as well.

  3. Notwithstanding statements to the contrary, pay was already good.
    Even so, a $50,000 raise? Even a, say, $12,000 raise might have been understandable.
    My disability stipend is less than $12,000.

  4. Why those self serving, !@#$%^&*(, )(*&^%, $#@! ! I only hope that I am around to see them get their due, and I ain’t talking about a raise, and the permanent public care taker position that they obviously want ! Vote them out !

  5. A lot of them do “over time” on their own dime. Most of the over time on their own dime appears to be self serving and busy work. Our Representatives need to just do the minimum of what is necessary and stop the nonsense of sky rocketing spending bills which give to the poor and take away from the poor, and increase grants to their pet projects, friends, and undeserving “councils.”

  6. Congratulations voters, you got what you voted for. Ethan Allen is doing back flips in his grave. Progressive is the way to go, huh? The writing has been on the wall for years. You wanted gay marriage equality, and you voted for it. They even installed a plaque on the Statehouse lawn commemorating it. You wanted to do something about gun violence. Well hey, hey the Progressive Democrats are here to save the day, with the blessings of a Republican governor that showcases the signing of the bill on the Statehouse stairs. Nice photo op gov! Homeless on the streets, and most likely being tossed from hotel rooms with no more Scamdemic funds to give. No worries, the Progressives are here to save the day with self congratulatory benefits, pay raises, and gold lined seat cushions to plop their pompous arses on in what used to be the peoples House.

  7. Shame on every one of you that voted for this bill. It isn’t as if you didn’t know the pay and benefits BEFORE you ran for office. If you can’t afford it – don’t apply for the job. You have NOT upheld the oath you took to serve the interests of the voters of Vermont. It is my fervent wish that you are all voted out. I’d say I hope you are ashamed but I realize you are too self absorbed to see past your own desires. Again….shame on you and your unabashed sense of entitlement. What a lousy, lousy job you have done this session – you should be returning your pay – not getting a raise.

  8. Wow!! I especially liked Representative Barbara Rachelson D-Burlington response. “Public service shouldn’t equate to poverty”. What does she think, by overriding Scott’s veto of S.5 will happen to the majority of Vermonter’s? Thank you to all Representatives that voted NO! I will not be voting for William Notte R-Rutland or Mary E Howard come 2024. Thank you to Art Peterson, who keeps us updated on Facebook with these ridiculous bills.

  9. Public service??? Is this woman high??? Public service representatives do not create or vote for bills that harm its own people (too many to name).

  10. Sumptuous statehouse bistro cuisine, mileage reimbursement, blessings from drag queens, and now a fat raise and upscale increased benefits. Perfect setup for the Central Committee of the People’s Republic!

  11. Well, bless their dark, demon possessed, barely detectible, bleeding hearts. Pride beforeth the fall. Declared and decreed.

  12. Well at least they can now afford their fossil fuels after stiffing the rest of us. These people are cretins of the lowest order.

  13. This is long overdue.
    Now many more Vermonters will have the opportunity to serve in the legislature. The increase in pay and benefits will not happen until 2025, so it will affect seated legislators only if they are re-elected to their positions by their constituents.
    Those legislators that voted again the pay and benefits increase can always demonstrate that they weren’t posturing can donate the additional pay to a worthy cause, but I don’t think that will happen.
    Oh and Chahlie Bennet, if you really want some of that “sumptuous statehouse bistro cuisine” it’s open to the public!

  14. Are we feeling the abuse yet? YEP! If they are going to force us to pay them at this rate will we consider citizens’ petitions to cut back on their time? Lets say meet every other year for no more that two months.

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