Republished from the succinct, highly readable Lake Champlain Chamber advocacy newsletter. Click here for more details about specific legislation.
The Legislature adjourned Thursday, May 12 in the early evening, concluding the 2022 session and the 2021-2022 biennium. The House did not set a veto session, so it will be up to the Governor to call the legislature back if a veto necessitates one. It was a very consequential session with a legacy of “a great reshuffling.”
- More than one-third of the Senate (12 confirmed) is retiring, a previously unseen level of departures in that body which will mean a large loss of institutional knowledge. More than half of the chairs in the House, with the running total at nine, are retiring among the over 40 members of the House moving on. Outside the legislature, there are equally consequential vacancies in the positions of Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer. There will also be a new Senate Pro Tem next session.
- At $8.3 billion, we just witnessed the largest budget in state history as it allocates what is left of the federal COVID relief dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
All the federal dollars
- All the federal money is gone, more isn’t coming, and if it was, could we land the small state minimums that Senator Patrick Leahy was notorious for bringing home?
- The Governor brandished the veto pen throughout the session and delivered some high-profile vetos. In total, there have been 26 from him since he became Governor; however, it has not had the impact on his popularity the Democrats expected, and seems to have only propelled him.
As folks leave the legislature, some headed out for reelection and some for a new, higher office, many will be campaigning in new districts.