Last week, Senate leader Tim Ashe and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson spoke with reporters about their priorities for the upcoming session, while acknowledging that the Governor may not share the same ones.
Included on their list are:
- Paid family leave funded by a new payroll tax
- Increasing the minimum wage to $15
- Develop long-term funding for water quality issues
- Potential changes to education funding system that are more transparent
Absent from the leaders priority list was passage of a new carbon tax on gasoline and heating fuels. (At least four proposals have been put forth, including the so called Essex plan, which purports to use the higher taxes to help reduce electric rates. see related link below)
New carbon tax proposal would lower power rates
Meanwhile, the Governor has indicated he plans to press for another year of no new taxes or fees and coming up with strategies to reduce the cost of K-12 education in Vermont. Other priorities are being formulated and will likely be unveiled during the State of the State address on January 4.