Legislator pay raise has stalled, but Vermont Senate plans to revisit in January
Senate Democratic leaders didn't have the votes this week to override Gov. Phil Scott's veto and boost legislative pay over the next few years.
But the head of the Senate has vowed to revisit the issue in January.
"It may be that a slightly skinnier bill will have an easier passage," said Senate President Pro Tem Phil Baruth, "but either way, we will come back to this issue until we get it right."
Currently, lawmakers make roughly $15,000 a year. The plan would have doubled that amount over a period of several years.
In addition, legislators would have been eligible for the state employee health care plan.
Chittenden Central Sen. Tanya Vyhovsky said the bill was needed to ensure that more working Vermonters can afford to serve in Montpelier — something that she says is not true today.
"The barriers to service in the General Assembly are astronomical, which is why the demographics of the General Assembly do not match the demographics of Vermont," Vyhovsky said. "And this is a problem. This is one of the reasons why we have such a difficult time meeting the needs of average Vermonters."
But the governor vetoed the bill because he said it could lead to a more full-time Legislature.
The bill was sent back to the Senate Government Operations Committee for further review.
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