June 14, 2022
Each year, the end of the legislative session coincides with warmer weather, signaling peak tourism season just around the corner. For many Vermont businesses, however, this will be the third summer in a row that they are overwhelmed with uncertainty instead of anticipation. While elected officials resumed in-person operations at the State House, the Vermont business community is still working to determine their “new normal.”
The foundation of the Vermont Chamber advocacy this session was the stark reality that Vermont has an estimated 26,000 job openings and an unemployment rate of 2.5%. With 25,500 fewer people participating in the workforce than pre-pandemic, employers are going to unprecedented lengths to retain employees and recruit new workers.
While businesses continued to battle the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, including a constrained labor force, increased payroll expenses, reduced hours, 8.3% inflation, and endless supply chain problems, progress was made on many policy fronts due to the support from legislators who listened to our members and our dedicated five-person Vermont Chamber advocacy team.

The Vermont Chamber succeeded on most of our 2022 legislative session agenda items, including retaining Vermont workers, helping businesses emerge from the pandemic, increasing workforce housing supply, and recruiting new workers to Vermont.

Read more here.
"State to Main" Podcast Series: Ep. 6 - 2022 Legislative Session

In this episode we welcome Betsy Bishop, President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and Megan Sullivan, VP of Government Affairs, to recap the 2022 legislative session and discuss some of the key takeaways for the Vermont business community.

“State to Main” is made possible by our sponsor, AT&T.
According to Vermont Department of Labor, “for every three open jobs in Vermont, there is one person categorized as ‘unemployed.’” This critical shortage of workers in the state informed the Vermont Chamber’s legislative priorities this session, as the advocacy team fought to attract new workers to the state, equip those on the margins with the skills and training they need to join the workforce, secure relief funding for businesses recovering from the pandemic to save jobs, promote growth in emerging industries, and address barriers to growth in areas such as housing, land development, and taxes.
The Governor and Legislature each prioritized investments in the workforce, housing, critical infrastructure, and tax savings this session, and the budget and other major appropriations bills reflected those priorities. Despite compromising on some pieces of the priorities, these major investments in shared goals make clear that Vermont is rowing in the same direction, and we can make progress to build a better future for our state.
With Senator Leahy announcing his intention to retire at the end of his term, many in the Vermont political landscape saw an opportunity to move up. The shakeup in the State House will mean an infusion of new blood, and more junior members taking over leadership roles in key committees, including on the Senate Economic Development Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.
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