2023 Legislative Wrap Up

The 2023 legislative session has concluded, including the veto session in which the Democratic supermajority wielded its power by overriding five bills vetoed by Vermont’s republican governor, Phil Scott; including the $8.5 billion state budget, as well a .44% payroll tax on all working Vermonters to increase childcare subsidies for families making less than $172,000 per year. Employers will be required to pay at least 75% of the tax which will take effect July 1, 2024. The tax is expected to raise $120 million.

Tax payers will see an average increase of 4% and the non-homestead tax rate in 2024 from 1.388 to 1.391 per $100 of equalized education property value, not because of increased taxes but because of increased property values as well as passage of legislation that will make universal school meals a permanent program.

Labor issues, including a mandatory paid family leave program (H.66) and bills that would make it easier for employees to unionize and hinder employers in requiring that employees participate in certain mandatory staff meetings failed to make it past all stages of passage this year, but will be considered in 2024. However, H.135 was passed and signed by the Governor, which will make it mandatory for employers that do not currently offer a retirement plan to enroll all employees into the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan (S.135). This is an opt-out program for employees, and employers are prohibited from contributing to these plans, while employees that are automatically enrolled will see a 5% decrease from their paycheck which will be allocated to their retirement account. The program will begin with employers with more than 25 employees in 2025 and businesses with more than five employees will need to begin enrollment in 2026. VRGA offers an alternative to the state-run program, which you can learn more about here. This program, managed through Lincoln Financial provides you more flexibility and control over the benefits that are available to your employees.

VRGA has compiled a list of bills relevant to the membership, their status, and the changes they create below. Bills are organized by category in the dropdown menu below. If you have questions regarding any of these bills, or other issues not reported on, please contact Erin at erin@vtrga.org.