Scott vetoes lawmakers’ pay hike

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 11:48 AM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Gov. Phil Scott Wednesday rejected Vermont lawmakers’ pay increase package.

The proposal would have raised the average lawmaker’s salary from $14,616 to $29,766 by 2027. It also would have provided state employee health care benefits.

But in the fifth of a growing list of vetoes, Scott it was one of several bills that will “significantly increase costs for Vermonters through new and higher taxes, fees, and penalties.” He says 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.”

Supporters of the measure said adequate wages are crucial to maintaining a diverse citizen Legislature. It came after dozens of lawmakers stepped down last year citing the low pay and large time commitment.

Governor Scott Wednesday said the same could be achieved if lawmakers just shortened the session. “With a 90-day session, I think a lot more candidates would step up because they would know when the end is, and there would be a contract amount and they can increase their pay that way,” he said.

Lawmakers will likely consider an override when they meet for a veto session on June 20.

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