The 2023-2024 VLCT Municipal Legislative Policy was approved by all voting delegates present at VLCT's 2022 Annual Meeting. The VLCT Board of Directors in partnership with Advocacy staff condenses the full policy into several Legislative Priorities to help focus advocacy efforts and make the principles easy to share with members and legislators. Additionally, before the 2022 election, VLCT advocacy wrote and distributed several Municipal Action Papers to help members explain critical local government topics to prospective and newly elected legislators.
Policy Development Process
The VLCT Board of Directors created five legislative policy committees to develop recommendations for a legislative platform in each policy area. The committees meet the summer before each new biennium to discuss recent legislative action and recommend policy platforms and priorities to the Board of Directors. The Board drafts amendments to the previous biennium's policy, the amendments are voted on by delegates at the Annual Meeting, and Advocacy staff pursue the elements of the policy in the ensuing legislative session.
- The Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR) Policy Committee is responsible for governance; taxation including education funding, open meeting and public records; clerk-treasurer issues; economic development.
- The Public Safety Policy Committee is responsible for fair and impartial policing including federal immigration law and Act 5; authority, information, and funding to combat drug-related crime; Department of Corrections’ policy; training and funding to support fire safety volunteers and professionals, emergency medical technicians, and law enforcement officials; dispatch; highway safety; marijuana legalization.
- The Quality of Life and Housing Policy Committee is responsible for land use planning, development, and regulation; housing; Act 250; economic development; telecommunications; health care; related quality of life matters.
- The Transportation Policy Committee is responsible for funding for municipal highway aid and water quality related to highways; communication among state, federal, and local officials on transportation issues; efficiency and effectiveness in transportation construction programs; trucks and oversized vehicles on municipal highways; policy related to rail.
- The Environment Policy Committee is responsible for conservation, climate, energy, water quality, and wastewater management matters; implementation of the federal and state Clean Water Acts; stormwater management; integrated planning for water quality; total maximum daily loads and basin planning.
Committee members meet with secretaries and commissioners of agencies from time to time to discuss strategy and the implementation of laws. VLCT Advocacy staff also relies upon committee members for advice and expertise on specific issues during the legislative session.
Each year, VLCT members help set VLCT’s municipal legislative priorities. Suggested policy amendments are made either in writing prior to the VLCT Annual Meeting (at Town Fair) or on the floor at the meeting, where they are debated and adopted.