Legislative Update: Crossover 2023

March 17th was the crossover deadline, when policy bills needed to be voted out of their committee of jurisdiction to be considered this session (though, of course, there are exceptions). This week, lawmakers have been working overtime to make the Friday deadline for economic bills. At this critical mid-point, where do things stand? Read on for status updates on bills impacting (or of interest to) the nonprofit sector:

But first…

Vermonters, and the nonprofits who serve them, are getting shortchanged!

Join the Vermont Nonprofit Government Grants & Contracting Working Group in calling on the State of Vermont to Fund the Full Cost of Nonprofit Services.

Read the letter and sign on.

H. 55 – Unemployment Insurance

CGVT has been highly engaged with this bill, and after testifying on multiple drafts, we are pleased to report that language we can support has passed out of the House.

As passed by the House, the bill would eliminate the small nonprofit unemployment insurance exemption, extending coverage to all nonprofit employees. To ensure organizations have time to understand and comply with this change, we have successfully advocated (so far) to extend the effective date to July 1, 2024. If passed, ALL Vermont nonprofits will need to provide unemployment insurance, including those with <4 employees.

To support nonprofits through this transition, and to ensure all nonprofit employers understand their options and associated liabilities for unemployment insurance, Common Good VT advocated to include language requiring outreach to and education for nonprofits around unemployment insurance. This replaced a section that would have created a bonding requirement for reimbursable employers, as the Committee agreed that helping employers understand liabilities associated with self-insuring was a less onerous means to similar ends. The Department of Labor is instructed to work with Common Good VT and others to create informational materials, host live trainings, and reach out to organizations.

Read more about H. 55 in our previous blog post and stay tuned as it moves through the Senate.

Basic Needs, Paid Leave, Childcare & Housing

While not issues specific to the nonprofit sector, workers and employers alike could be impacted by a couple key pieces of legislation around Paid Leave and Childcare that are still on the table.

Labor, Employment & Business


  • H.145 – An act relating to fiscal year 2023 budget adjustments
    Written by CGVT Intern, John Harrington
    On Monday March 20, 2023, H.145 Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Adjustment Bill (BAA) was allowed to become law without the signature of Governor Phil Scott. This act outlines mid-year adjustments in spending for the current fiscal year, and allocates a net General Fund (GF) increase of $68 million. Prominent issues addressed in the bill include healthcare stabilization, home heating, housing security, and broadband internet expansion. View a summary of the bill here. 
    Among the most pressing issues facing the Legislature in the development of this bill was the issue of funding emergency housing for unhoused individuals. Pandemic-era federal funding for a program that provided motel stays for people experiencing homelessness is set to expire on March 31, leaving lawmakers scrambling to address an emergency housing shortage. $13.8 million of the General Fund was allocated to continue this emergency shelter program for prioritized populations – including those experiencing domestic violence or those living with children under 20, for instance – until June 30 of this year.
    The bill also designates a significant portion of the GF’s net increase to ameliorate the wider issue of homelessness and emergency shelter throughout the state. For example, $27.5 million was allocated to the nonprofit Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) to create more affordable housing and develop emergency shelter alternatives.
    The passage of this bill was far from certain. Governor Scott repeatedly expressed concern with the high expenditure of the bill, which exceeded his proposed amount by $50 million. In a March 20 letter to the General Assembly, he expresses satisfaction with the initiatives addressed in the budget adjustment, while also criticizing its potential to detract from spending in FY24. Despite his calls for more responsible spending in the future, Governor Scott allowed it to take effect without his signature.
  • FY24 Budget
    House Appropriations is finishing up their work on the budget this week. See this draft summary the “Big Bill” as of 3/21 and a list of proposed provider rate increases.

What Didn’t Make the Cut