Scott vetoes legislative pay hike: “it doesn’t seem fair”

by Guy Page

On May 31, Governor Scott today returned without signature and vetoed S.39, raising pay and benefits for the Vermont Legislature.

S.39 was approved shortly before adjournment this month. It would boost the current $811/week pay to $1000 in 2025, $1100 in 2026, and $1210 in 2027. It also includes rooms and meals compensation, professional development reinbursement, adjournment pay, and state employee-level health care benefits for the Legislature. The combined compensation totals about $50,000/year.

Scott provided this explanation to the Legislature:

“I’m returning S.39, An act relating to compensation and benefits for members of the Vermont General Assembly, without my signature because of my objections described herein. This year, the General Assembly passed several pieces of legislation that will significantly increase costs for Vermonters through new and higher taxes, fees, and penalties. In my opinion, it does not seem fair for legislators to insulate themselves from the very costs they are imposing on their constituents by doubling their own future pay.”

Today, Scott signed four bills into law:

  • S.17, An act relating to sheriff reforms
  • S.48, An act relating to regulating the sale of catalytic converters
  • S.95, An act relating to banking and insurance
  • S.112, An act relating to miscellaneous subjects related to the Public Utility Commission

A June 20-22 veto override special session of the Legislature has been scheduled. The state budget and underage voting in Brattleboro will be among the other candidates for an override.

Categories: Legislation

34 replies »

  1. THANK YOU, Governor Scott. Yet with near certainty, the radical legislators shall override your veto and pass this bill nonetheless……laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Thank you for your veto of S39. I am a firm believer that the people should be the ones to vote for pay raises and benefits. I’m not aware of any other business that has the employees determining their raises and perks. Of course they will vote yes. To me that’s a given whether they deserve it or not. Raises should be determined by the job a person does, the amount of time they spend on their jobs. Attendance at state business debates, etc. is of utter importance for example. These votes could be added to the ballots on election day making extra voting days unnecessary.

  2. Kudos to Governor Scott!!! If the legislators are going to impose S.5 that will adversely affect those on fixed incomes, Governor Scott is right.

  3. Thank you Governor Scott, as a Vermont taxpayer I just feel a little less abused . You won the election because a very large amount of democratic voters trusted your judgement and voted for you .May the legislators remember that fact when a vote on your veto comes around .

    • It will be interesting to hear debate on S.39. It certainly will separate the genuine Public Servants from the political grifters in Vermont’s citizen legislature.

  4. Thank you Govenor Scott. And you are correct it is not fair. Don’t mean to sound like a spoiled child stamping my foot and saying “not fair!”. I don’t expect life to always be fair – but this just adds to the financial woes of Vermont’s elderly living on fixed incomes. Our SS is taxed, our property is taxed, DMV fees going up for no reason, heating our homes is about to become out of reach and yet all they can think of is giving themselves more money and perks. How does this “represent” the people who elected them? Shame on them and their selfish motives. They all knew what the job paid when they signed up – this was never meant to be a full time, high paid with benefits, career. Maybe it is time for you (The Governor) to address the legislators and remind them of their duties and who they represent.

  5. Didn’t Randy Brock once state that state employees are paid too much? The hypocrisy of it all. So, in general they’re under the dome half a year, give or take. Supposedly representing the hard working people of Vermont. They may have forgotten that part. Seems they’ve forgotten who they represent. Even seems as though they’re thumbing their noses at the good people of Vermont and saying, “we don’t care if you do well. We don’t care if you die in the streets for lack of heat.”

    So at any rate $811 per week for the weeks they actually “work” they’re paying themselves pretty much twice what the fine folks they don’t represent every week, give or take, as a legislative session lasts roughly 6 months, depending on the time they spend giggling and tee-heeing about the bills they don’t actually have the time to read.

    Perhaps we should have a citizens committee, even perhaps giving us office space in the Capitol so we can have a little oversight on how things actually function under the once fine and honorable Capitol dome.

    Fine job Mr. Governor, I hope you get your photo op. Vermonter’s are going to suffer this winter for the workings of the clean heat bill, and others. Perhaps you all should refrain from those pay hikes, with benefits, and live like the people you represent.

  6. Weekly travel mileage, food allowances, expenses, weekly pay, now they want ” more perks”

    Their work is not public service, but a BIG Boo$t obove and beyond
    their family budget.

  7. I wrote a piece in Front Porch Forum two months ago, about what our Representative from Windham-6 was taking home including the “reimbursements”. I believe it was around $1650 dollars a week. I don’t know how any legislator could look a constituent in the eye having voted for this raise. But they do and smile and expect you to vote for them. They disgust me.

      • Doesn’t this webpage have a moderator? What is the purpose of allowing posts like this?

      • Hello Mark S – yes, there is a moderator (me, editor). The purpose of the comments section is to allow free discussion of events and ideas, within the guidelines: no personal, mocking criticism of other commenters, no explicitly racist language, no profanity. Criticizing an elected official or or other public figure with a colorful expression is within the guidelines.

      • Hello Guy – Thank you for your response. But I don’t understand why you consider posts like this to be free discussion of events and ideas. The post tells us more than most people would like to know about this commenter, but it does not even attempt to address the issue at hand – the legislative pay raise. Worse, comments like this discourage people from coming to this site to attempt to understand views that they may not agree with. I don’t want to know how people posting here feel; I want to know what they think. Without the ability to discuss ideas civilly, your site risks becoming nothing more than an echo chamber with angry, irrational people screaming into the void.

      • With all due respect Mark, social discourse is uncomfortable. If our founders didn’t allow members to speak their minds, albeit rough and tumble at times, there would be no United States of America. As far the legislative pay raise, you may not be aware of the many “perks” they get and take from the day they are elected. Many of them are professionals – lawyers, business owners, corporate management, non-profits grifters, etc. They don’t just sit in the State House for three months pretending to make good, common sense law. They spend many hours through the year side hustling with lobbyists, politcal party brotheren, and using State resources to further their personal agendas. I’m sorry if that is not agreeable to your opinion, but it is the Truth – rest assured, any sacrifice is not made in vain or signifies financial stress of any kind.

      • Melissa – I agree that social discourse can be uncomfortable. I agree that we can disagree. Ideally, even if we don’t come to a meeting of minds, we better understand each other.
        What I have a problem with is posts that do not address the issue at hand, but simply engage in rude name calling, thinly veiled threats, and thoughtless ranting. This is not discourse – it’s a childish temper tantrum.
        Or it’s just ugly. One recent poster suggested that the issue of trans youth would be resolved by their high rates of suicide. No matter what you think of trans rights, this is just unacceptable.
        I wish posters who engage in this behavior would understand that they are not doing themselves any good. Everyone who disagrees with you is not evil and not necessarily uniformed.
        We disagree on compensation for our legislators. I know my legislators. I think they do a necessary, thankless job with pitiful compensation. At current compensation levels, young conservatives like Corey Parent can not afford to serve, which is a shame.

  8. Thank you Gov. Phil ! I’m afraid that if we pay them more, they’ll start receiving their mail and bunking there, and look how much damage those disingenuous public overlords do in 5 months, The damage they’d do in a full time position would be insufferable !

  9. How many commenters here could afford to serve in the legislature? This bill would make it possible for more people to consider running for office and possibly result in a more diverse body. Since most of you seem to have a rather low opinion of the good people currently serving you – many at great personal sacrifice – I’d think that you’d applaud this moderate increase in pay and benefits. Maybe some of you will be able to run for office if this bill becomes law and see whether Vermonters will buy what you’re selling here.

    • NO MORE BRAZEN CORRUPTION! This is a citizen legislature & NOT a full-time “employment” opportunity. These grifters make more than enough $$$ kissing up to their special interest groups, their lobbyists, their non-profits, and their extremist, radicalized out-of-state financiers. This behavior as servants to the public is feckless and therefore indeed disgusting and their political motives are potentially treasonous.

      However, since you seem to appreciate “moderating” so much, otherwise known as censorship, you might wish to instead try inserting your opinions on such sites as VT Digger or CNN…..oh wait, they don’t allow free speech/commentary (my Constitutional & irrevocable right) on any of those. Just as Communists/Marxists like it!

    • I actually worked under the Golden Dome in the 1980’s. One long serving Senator, before Christmas, spent an entire afternoon calling his friends and contacts across the country to wish them Happy Holidays on the State’s dime. Keep in mind, the Legislature is not in session in December. Some legislators would spend a few hours over at the Tavern or Capitol Plaza, return to the State House reeking of alcohol and blurry eyed to discuss and vote on legislation. The Speaker of the House then was the most caustic, rude, nasty man to staff and members alike. He lit into me once for no reason and got told to apologize by my superior. He did, but he was gritting his teeth and rather curt in the exchange. Some of the Legislators were great people, the majority of them treated the staff like servants and peasants. A couple years ago, I went to the State House cafeteria to pick up lunch. The representatives milling about were even more rude, conceited, and caustic as they were over 35 years ago. Unless you spend any quality time in that building, you have no clue what goes on for real inside those rooms. It is disgraceful and far from representative of Vermont taxpayers.

      • Worked for state government over in neighboring NY and “surprise!” – the exact same attitudes & misappropriations at the very least there with violations of federal law in terms of chronic sexual harassment & racial/gender discrimination along with handing out PAYCHECKS to dozens who never were employed there (on the taxpayer’s dimes of course) as part of the payback for political party service.

        And by the way, “Mark S” – I’ve never even confided in my dog about all that went on under THAT golden dome, so shhhhh. I sure as heck hope he doesn’t read this at this point. Again, politicos very obviously & deeply disgust him.

    • If your so called “good people” are doing this at such a high personal sacrifice then perhaps they should not be doing it. There are others who would gladly serve – it isn’t the salary that keeps us out – it is the system itself. I could work within the pay & benefits as they currently stand but just getting elected is too expensive. It isn’t the best candidate that gets elected – it is the one with the deepest pockets. And BTW – the low opinion I have of the current legislative body is well deserved. They do not care enough about the voters to even bother representing them. My representative here actually admitted in a local paper that she got many calls letting her know that the people of her district were against a certain bill. She decided to vote the way she wanted instead of how those she is supposed to represent asked her to vote. So, yea…..my opinion of them is pretty low. I’m guessing you are a transplant and fairly well off – your opinions reflect that of someone who won’t really be affected by the higher taxes. Take heart – eventually even you will feel the sting. When they have run all the middle class & elderly out of the state – they will be putting their hands in your pocket next.

  10. Thank You Gov. Scott? What is everyone thanking him for? Finally doing his job. The Eunuch’s veto will be overridden and the Commiecrats will be paid more to screw us more.

  11. In response to Melissa….I too have spent time under the dome and I agree with your comments. The things I witnessed were true eye openers. I did an internship and had to sit in committee as a certain bill wound its way through the process. I watched as one legislator sat and cut out news articles about himself while another only came alive if the tv cameras were rolling. The “milling about” waiting for lunch would start in the halls about 11:30 and the dining room stayed pretty busy til around 1 or so. I watched one seriously obnoxious official dress down a legislator in the hallway – the entire conversation should have taken place in private but this guy was an egotistical bully and loved an audience. There were members (some are still there) that should have retired years ago and were the poster children for term limits. It should be mandatory for all voters to spend time witnessing their legislators in action.

  12. I, for one, will not be voting for any Representative who supports and votes for this bill. I encourage all to carefully note the supporters of this measure and withhold your vote for them next time around. If you look carefully they are the ones that are spending your taxpayer dollars willynilly. Do not keep electing them to spend our hard earned dollars!

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