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The VLCT Board of Directors adopted municipal priorities for the 2023-2024 legislative biennium at its November 10, 2022 meeting. The Municipal Priorities were drawn from the more comprehensive Municipal Policy in order to guide the VLCT Board of Directors, advocacy staff, and members in effectively advocating for Vermont local governments. In Vermont, local government resources and authority are severely constrained by state law (statutes). Cities and towns need the funding, flexibility, and professional capacity to meet today’s challenges, and VLCT articulates these needs to the Vermont General Assembly (state legislature).

VLCT's Legislative Municipal Priorities for 2023

Increased Opportunities for Housing Development 

  • Reform state and local regulations to allow construction and rehabilitation that will increase the number of “missing middle” and affordable housing units in the state, and direct funding to their construction. 

  • Direct housing incentives and programs to designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, growth centers, new neighborhoods, and other areas designated in municipal plans. 

  • Eliminate Act 250 Jurisdiction over projects in designated downtowns; growth, new town, and village centers; and municipalities with robust zoning and development capacity. 

  • Provide transitional housing and integrated support services to alleviate homelessness. 

Financial Stability and Equity 

  • Reform Vermont’s tax system to ensure sustainability, affordability, equity, and balance among revenue sources.  

  • Authorize municipal voters to adopt local option taxes. 

  • Fund an ongoing revenue sharing program to support municipalities in delivery of services, innovative programs, and infrastructure maintenance. 

Public Safety and Emergency Medical Services 

  • Develop initiatives to address the critical shortage of public safety personnel and implement new ways to recruit, train, and retain them. 

  • Reduce violent crime to assure the safety of the public. 

  • Retain qualified immunity for law enforcement officers.  

  • Enhance procedural justice in law enforcement and continue efforts to: 

    • ensure fair, equitable, and impartial practices;

    • build trust especially among marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged people;

    • create policy and oversight mechanisms consistent with local governance structures;

    • embrace community policing principles that include crime reduction strategies;

    • emphasize officer wellness, safety, mental health, and critical incident stress management; and

    • provide sufficient funding to attain these goals. 

Open Meeting Law 

  • Make fully remote meetings a permanent, voluntary option under the Open Meeting Law. 

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) 

  • Supplement the state’s successful TIF Program with a project- based TIF that is accessible to smaller communities. 

Climate Action and Environment 

  • Work in partnership with municipalities to ensure that the climate change reduction benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act support local government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency. 

  • Implement policies that empower municipalities to reduce emissions, plan for and increase resiliency to the effects of climate change, and transition to being powered and sustained by cleaner energy sources.