2021 Legislative Update (6/24/21)

“We anticipated that the Legislature would be focused on COVID relief and recovery, and it was. What no one could predict was that we would be able to do more than address immediate needs.”Representative Bluemle

The 2021 legislative session was far from business as usual.  Lawmakers, in an entirely virtual environment, focused their efforts on addressing the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 and managing the unprecedented influx of more than $1 billion in federal relief funds.  The $7.35 billion state budget, including $599.2 million in ARPA funding, contains significant investments in broadband, infrastructure, housing, and climate change mitigation.  Other themes from this session include childcare, equity, and education.   Read on to learn more:

  • S. 62 – Unemployment Insurance. The bill excludes tax year 2020 from the calculation used to determine UI tax rate schedules, estimated to save businesses $400 million.  It also increases unemployment payments to unemployed workers by $25 per week starting in October, which is estimated to increase taxes for businesses by $100 million.  Read more here.  
  • VT Digger’s summary of the “Covid-19” session and update on the veto session.
  • DRM’s final legislative update.
  • End of session reports from Representatives Dolan and Houghton, Bluemle and Stebbins, and Redmond, and a session recap conversation with Senate Pro Tempore Balint.
  • Federal Update:
    • Independent Sector and other organizations are asking Congress to engage the non-profit sector prior to taking up any legislation that reforms charitable giving (such as the Accelerating Charitable Efforts Act introduced this month). Read their letter and more about the proposed reforms here.
    • $350 billion in ARPA funds for “assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or to aid impacted industries” is at risk of being clawed back by Congress. Learn more here.
    • The WORK NOW Act would infuse $50 billion into the nonprofit community.
  • Also – a reminder that you can apply to have your PPP loan forgiven up to 10 months following your covered period. Details from the SBA are here, and check out this update from the National Council of Nonprofits.