As Vermont struggles with unfunded liabilities, changing demographics, and economic indicators at a national level pointing towards an impending recession, the imperative for policymakers to understand the needs and concerns of Main Street businesses has never been greater.
The 2019 legislative session saw an influx of new legislators, a newly formed supermajority in the House, and a return of unfinished business from a previous biennium. LCRCC’s Government Affairs team made the daily trip to Montpelier to advocate for a thriving private-sector economy and work for the collective prosperity of our members, their employees, and our communities.
We provided members with 20 weekly newsletters during the legislative session, checking in routinely on 20 crucial bills with a broad impact on all sectors of the economy; fielding questions from members reacting to updates and connecting members who requested an avenue for action to the appropriate actionable steps.
While a few bills consistently make headlines and warrant regular updates in our weekly newsletter, the advocacy team is tracking nearly 200 pieces of legislation. We work collaboratively with other business organizations to better inform legislative efforts, build broad consensus, and best represent LCRCC members.
Throughout all this, we provide opportunities for members to interact with elected officials and policymakers with two legislative breakfasts which drew 150 local business leaders as well as 5 smaller and more intimate public policy meetings averaging about 15 member representatives in attendance.
The work for the next legislative session has already begun as we convene working groups focusing on various sectors of the Vermont economy. With many pieces of legislation not making it through the legislative process, the legislature will pick up where they left off in May at the start of the second half of the biennium, in January. Much of the preparation for next year involves building a new communications structure which will lend added capacity to the LCRCC mission in the years to come.