Alliance Legislative/Issue Update

We are more than one third of the way through the ’24 legislative session, and issues on the Alliance's Legislative Agenda are moving through the committee consideration process. What follows is an update on the status of Agenda issues and our collective advocacy. Note that for many issues, the focus of advocacy is primarily in the House, as the House develops their version of the budget first, with the Senate to follow.

Advocacy on requests for the Fiscal Year ’24 (FY24) budget will shift to the Senate in about a month, as the House is expected to finish its FY24 budget by the end of March. Several bills discussed below are on a similar path, in most cases with House consideration going first.

For questions about the policy details or the legislative process, please contact Matt Levin, Executive Director at


Family & Medical Leave Insurance: Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave for All Workers ​

Last week the House General and Housing Committee passed a slightly revised version of H. 66, a bill that would create a universal, state-run paid family and medical leave insurance program. The bill includes up to 12 weeks of paid leave for Vermonters caring for a new child, managing a serious health issue, caring for a family member with a serious health issue, or seeking a safety from an unsafe living situation. The program would also provide up to two weeks of bereavement leave. Funding would come from a payroll tax shared equally by the employee and employer.

H.66 is being taken up by the House Ways and Means Committee this week. Advocates strongly support this bill and are working to secure its passage in the House.

Lead Organizations: Main Street Alliance and Voices for Vermont’s Children


Reach Up: Ending Child Poverty is Within Our Reach​

Two bills have been introduced to make progress on important policy challenges in the state’s Reach Up program. H. 93 would create an annual commitment to evaluating basic needs and housing grants, and H. 94 would task the Administration with creating an actionable plan to eliminate the ratable reduction within the next five years. H. 94 is being actively discussed by the House Human Services Committee this week, and advocates hope it will begin to move towards passage by the House this year.

The Governor did not recommend any funding increases for Reach Up in his Recommended FY24 Budget. Advocates are pressing the House Human Services Committee to recommend to the House Appropriations Committee that increases be made to the Reach Up benefit in their FY24 budget.

Lead Organization: Voices for Vermont’s Children


Housing and Homelessness: Increase Access to Safe, Stable and Affordable Housing for all Children ​

Emergency Housing

One of the primary differences between the House and the Senate versions of the FY23 Budget Adjustment Act relates to emergency housing. While both would extend emergency housing for individuals that remain living in the motels or hotels into the spring, beyond the short timeframe suggested by the Governor, the length of the extension and who is included in it differs. The House proposal is more expansive, while the Senate focuses on the most vulnerable populations, including households with children.

The proposals differ by a bit over $2 million. The difference will be settled through discussions among legislative leaders in the coming days, and the final bill will then be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

Meanwhile, the Governor’s Recommended FY24 Budget includes $26.4 million for General Assistance Emergency Housing, utilizing the Adverse Weather “hybrid model” that was used this winter. This funding is less than the $72 million advocates estimate is needed to ensure that no Vermonter will be unhoused in the next fiscal year (July – June). It also uses one-time funding instead of General Funds, creating uncertainty about emergency housing in future years. Advocates are urging the House to include a higher level of funding, using General Funds, in their FY24 Budget proposal.

Investments in Permanent Affordable Housing Development

The Senate’s version of the FY23 Budget Adjustment Act allocates $25 million in one-time funding (above the original FY23 appropriation) to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) to support construction of affordable housing, and $2.5 million for the creation of emergency shelter alternatives to hotels and motels.  This is less than the $50 million of additional funding supported by the House. As with the emergency housing language, the difference will be settled through discussions among legislative leaders in the coming days, and the bill will then be sent to the Governor.

The Governor’s Recommended FY24 Budget includes $13 million in base funding for VHCB. This is a $16 million reduction from the share of the Property Transfer Tax funding formula that the law designates for VHCB. Advocates will be encouraging the Legislature to support full funding for VHCB.

Lead Organization: Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition


Transforming Child Care

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee has been hard at work over the last three weeks on S.56, their version of the child care bill. A House version, H.208, has also been introduced, and will be considered after the Senate finishes its work on the issue. Both bills propose changes, improvements, and additional investments in many aspects of the early childhood education system, including CCFAP eligibility and payment levels, staffing and professional development, and program administration.

The Senate Committee has heard testimony from child care programs, families, businesses, state and national policy experts, and advocates. The bill that was introduced is just a starting point, and there will be many changes made as the process continues in the coming weeks.

Lead OrganizationsLet’s Grow Kids and the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children


Children's Integrated Services (CIS): Protect Family Access to Integrated Support Through CIS​

The FY23 Budget Adjustment bill working through the legislative process includes supplemental funding for the current fiscal year to fill the funding gap caused by an increased CIS caseload. The funding was recommended by the Governor and supported by the Legislature. Similarly, the Governor’s Recommended FY24 Budget includes a modest funding increase for CIS of about $950,000 to account for the increased caseload. While this would not bring reimbursements up to the cost of providing care, the funding is critical and the Alliance is supporting the proposal as the House begins to write their version of the FY24 budget.

Advocacy is also continuing in efforts to secure one-time funding to begin the build out of a statewide CIS database. Advocates are working to gain the House Government Operations Committee’s support for this FY24 budget request. The Committee will be sending their funding recommendations and requests to the House Appropriations Committee next week.

Lead Organizations: Vermont Parent Child Center Network and Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development


Parent Child Center Network Integrated Grant: Fully Fund Vermont’s Parent Child Centers​

The PCC Network is continuing its advocacy to secure a base funding increase of $5.2 million in the FY24 budget, to cover the actual cost of providing services and address decades of underfunding. The Governor did not include an increase in his Recommended FY24 Budget.

The Network hopes to secure the House Human Services Committee’s support for this FY24 budget request. The Committee will be sending their funding recommendations and requests to the House Appropriations Committee next week.

Lead Organization: Vermont Parent Child Center Network


Universal School Meals: Confirm the Education Fund as the Permanent Funding Source for Universal School Meals​

The House Agriculture, Food Resiliency and Forestry Committee is currently considering H. 165, which makes permanent the universal free school breakfast and lunch program that has been in place in Vermont for the last few years. The bill would require participating schools to maximize the federal funds from the School Nutrition Program to pay for these meals, with any remaining costs to be paid for off the top of the state’s Education Fund.

Committee approval of the bill seems very likely to take place this week. After that, the bill will be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee, and then by the full House.

Lead Organization: Hunger Free Vermont


Vermont Diaper Bank: A Sustainable Statewide Solution for Diaper Need​

The Junior League of Champlain Valley is working to gain support in the House for their request for $380,000 in ongoing funding to support a Vermont Diaper Bank. The proposed Bank would work with the existing network of community partners to secure and distribute diapers to low-income Vermont families and alleviate diaper need in the state.

The League is urging the House Human Services Committee to support this FY24 budget request. The Committee will be sending their funding recommendations and requests to the House Appropriations Committee next week.

Lead OrganizationJunior League of Champlain Valley


Register for ECDL ’23!

Join us in person for the 29th Annual Early Childhood Day at the Legislature (ECDL) on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, in Montpelier! The issues on our 2023 Legislative Agenda will play central roles at this year’s ECDL.

Scholarships and professional development will be available. Contact Taylor Hughey, Alliance Outreach Manager, at with any questions.

Stay tuned to the Alliance’s newslettersFacebook page, and website for more details as they are released.

**Note that although we are using a Zoom Event Registration Platform for registration this year, ECDL is entirely IN-PERSON in Montpelier! We want to be prepared in case we have to make a last-minute switch to a virtual conference if the public health situation changes before March.


The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide coalition formed in 2000 of early childhood professionals, parents, organizations, businesses, and strategic partners committed to improving public policies that impact young children between birth and age eight in the areas of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education.

The Alliance crafts an annual Legislative Agenda in partnership with early childhood organizations, provides year-round advocacy support, and facilitates meaningful interactions with policymakers at key times during the decision making process.


Alliance "Legislative Happy Hour"; Alliance Monthly Equity Discussion; LGK Courage to Care Rally; Register for ECDL

Issue Update - Housing and Homelessness

7 School Street | Montpelier , Vermont 05602

The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a program of the Vermont Community Loan Fund.

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