Supporting a Reduction in Workers' Compensation Insurance Costs
- With the hard work of employers and employees to increase workplace safety and additional efforts of the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), Workers’ Compensation rates decreased by 7.9% in 2017, 3.7% in 2018, and 5.1% in 2019, saving employers an estimated $30 million.
Seeing a Reduction in Unemployment Insurance Costs
- Due to the health of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, employers will collectively see relief in unemployment tax expense for the second year in a row. The health of the economy and trust fund has moved employers to a rate schedule that will reduce tax rates (assuming no changes to their experience rating) and will decrease the taxable wage base that employers pay on unemployment taxes.
Increasing Efficiency of K-12 Education System to Invest More in Kids
Vermont K-12 schools are educating nearly 30,000 fewer students than they were 20 years ago, and this continues to decline by about 3 students per day, on average. Despite declining enrollment, property taxes have risen year after year and staff-to-student ratios have dropped from about 7 students to 1 adult to about 4 to 1. To increase efficiency, sustainability and affordability of the system, the Administration has:
- Advocated for and achieved a statewide health benefit for public school employees. Transitioning to one plan rather than 60 plans will streamline negotiations, introduce equity among districts and lead to cost savings.
- Proposed and passed legislation to create a ratio task force, which will help schools identify and work towards improved student to staff ratios.
- Worked with the Legislature to transform how we deliver special education services to achieve better outcomes and long-term savings.
- Hosted a statewide Education Summit to engage educators, administrators, education organizations and lawmakers on opportunities to improve efficiency and redirect more of the state’s investment in education into educational programming.
Making Energy More Affordable
- Proposed and passed Act 150 of 2018, expanding the SMEEP and Energy Savings Accounts Account programs to make it easier for Vermont’s larger companies to invest in improving energy efficiency of their Vermont facilities.
- As chair of the Coalition of Northeastern, the Governor is focusing on identifying making energy costs more affordable through regional coordination and launched an energy affordability initiative. The multi-state task force, led by the Vermont Department of Public Service, will work to identify action steps to improve energy affordability across the region.