Statehouse Stakeout: Vermont senators suggest $25 livable wage may be needed

State Sens. Alison Clarkson and Michael Sirotkin have proposed a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, despite estimates from the Joint Fiscal Office that the hike could cost the economy nearly 3,000 jobs over the next decade.

While Vermont currently has the sixth highest minimum wage in the nation, its rich-versus-poor divide is growing fast, and a loss of 3,000 low-skill, low-paying jobs could further widen the gap between rich and poor.

But Clarkson and Sirotkin show no signs of stopping at $15, and their real goal may be a much higher “livable wage,” regardless of the jobs lost.

Their statements are captured in this week’s Statehouse Stakeout video:

For more of Shayne Spence’s videos, visit the Statehouse Stakeout YouTube channel.

Image courtesy of Shayne Spence/TNR

23 thoughts on “Statehouse Stakeout: Vermont senators suggest $25 livable wage may be needed

  1. Why don’t they just raise the “Living Wage” to $50/hr and save themselves of having to revisit this problem next year. While they’re at it they should bring the minimum wage up to $20/hr for the same reason. Proper thinking suggests if people are making that kind of money, the income tax collections will soar and the state can balance the budget on the backs of the burger flippers and lawn cutting artists. This will leave the ganja mavens free to pursue more flights into their own dimension.

  2. It’s coming to a head. It’s prety clear that VT can’t tax its way to the future, Nor can it cut its gov’t expense way to the future. It’s a system of chronic shortages. The cuts come back as deficits the next year. And we aren’t even funding the pension liabilities. And propping up the affordability side by raising the minimum wage won’t work unless the economy also expands. Which isn’t happening. We simpy haven’t recovered the way most of the rest of the country has. Changes at the Federal level threaten to cut support. So efforts to fix the future by pulling the levers in the old system won’t get it done. People are leaving. And it looks to me like we are on the path to being a failed state. We are where the Scandanavian countries were 50 years ago. Maybe we should look outside the state for some ideas……

    • Hi Bill
      The ideas are within the state, but are in the minority. Too many Flatland Liberals in power, voted in by sheeple. Hard to say if the pendulum will swing back to reality and the good way of life.

      For sure, the current and protracted mess can’t sustain itself. I hate to be forced out by crapologists. Perhaps if I sold out to NY / Chicago Blacks or Mexicans to load up the schools, increase crime and “get even” for ruining my life. People should consider. Hard to sell property when outsiders know the VT situation and won’t buy here. They’ll go to better places and have that mobility. Regarding this aspect, I don’t have a soul, they don’t.
      Live Free or Die.

  3. The good people of Vermont need to pay better attention, the moonbeam-ettes have invaded and are making a mess of your state. I was born here and am ashamed of what this state has become! Mt Scott, please keep the vigilance against the nut-jobs that have somehow gripped Montpelier!

  4. I know, let’s drive more small businesses out of BUSINESS. Too bad these VT Senators do not have two brain cells to rub together.

  5. It is obvious that these taxers in Montpelier NEVER had any studies in economics. “Guns and Butter” theory.

    Here’s a comment I’ve gathered that is relevant to VT. Change the states and names and it’s the same.

    As one of those spoken of by the author we were finally driven from CA to a state with lower taxes, and more liberty. No coincidence that. When I conducted my own ad hoc analysis of the tax differential to our little family it added up to almost 36%. As a native Californian I was both appalled and ashamed that I allowed that to happen. The clincher for me was when Gov Moonbeam chastised me for being a “freerider” because I opposed paying even more of my hard-earned income to the government who would then use it “wisely” to benefit all. He then invited me to pay up or leave. I left, and took our dollars with us. Every, repeat, every friend, acquaintance, and even those with whom I engaged in casual conversation about our relocation, expressed admiration and support for our decision. There are essentially two kinds of people living in CA; those are are actively planning for their relocation and those who wish they could yet are tied by family, employment, or circumstances. How unutterably sad to see such a beautiful place hollowed out by greed, avaricious government, and moral blindness.

  6. Interesting that NH has NO income Tax or Sales Taxes and the state is booming. Industry and a financial base all around. Appears that IKEA will be moving to Salem NH. Look at the Whelen Engineering in Charleston NH, across the river. Many stores as well.

    The people that tax you go there to shop and save tax money. They cause that state to boom and explode financially-the tax base is spread out. BUT to those VT shoppers, the VT Tax Dept is monitoring purchases. If you don’t claim the tax money for VT, they will estimate your taxes and come after you. There are articles on this. I’ve noted road blocks at state lines in MA & CT previously.

    VT is like E. Germany, NH like W. Germany (or N-S Korea). Shows high taxes don’t accomplish anything except grief and frustration. Live Free or Die.

  7. These Senators are about the worse of the worse in Montpelier. They are from NY, sold their mega priced properties and bought in rural VT at 1/4 of the cost. What to do next–bring their attitudes to VT, get elected and ruin the state. They are from the mental “I feel good attitude” in taxing people to give to others. Don’t you know, all properties are owned by millionaires with mega bank accounts. That’s the bubble they live in, VT is a liberal bubble.

    These people lived in under a financial shelter, never had to struggle for a living, don’t know what poverty is and are programed out of reality. In their quest to help people they can’t see how they are ruining people and the state. What’s more important producers or takers?

    Liberals act to emotion, conservatives act to reality. No reality in Montpelier. If you want to live without struggling and being forced onto by the unsuspected legislation, you must leave. I don’t see things changing. There’s a VT saying for these Gov people, “Welcome to Vermont, now LEAVE”.

  8. It will result in a loss of state revenue because there will be more private jobs negotiated as under the table compensation. Minimum wages are for entry level jobs and not meant as career compensation. Only self improvement and motivation should be the key to higher paychecks, and not the forces of political irresponsibility.

    • Forgot, or not heard of, the proposition to instill a $100 “registration fee” per contractor to begin a database of home improvement contractors in this (formerly) great state? Those control oriented m*(Y&*&^%*#r(s in Montpelier are intent on manipulating every aspect of our lives.

      And, yes, this one is looking at bailing out ASAP. There are other places where human beings are still respected as such.

  9. How and who elects these idiots , my God I think they have been smoking before the
    Governor made it legal !!

    • Trust fund liberals who are as clueless as their like legislators
      As to what it takes to make a dollar never mind stretching it..

  10. Why stop at $25/hr? If they want to destroy the State, just get it over with quickly and raise it to $50/hr.

  11. They only see the blind rate of $15/hr. This increases payroll taxes. This increases Workman’s Compensation and Liability insurance…these are tied to wages. This will drive up the rates your mechanic, carpenter, plumber, electrician, gardner, body shop. Also, if you have employees already in the $15/hr range they want to see a pay increase equal to the rise in the minimum wage. IT’S TIME TO PUSH BACK AGAINST THESE IDIOTS!!!!!

  12. The senators should concentrate on industry and good paying jobs in Vermont,that or get mental health checks for sanity.

  13. Yes and the quicker they can get the middle and lower class people out of this state and divide their property up amongst their friends the happier they will be !

  14. Senator Clarkson is an economic illiterate. Her “progressive” imagination has no boundaries. She believes that the taxpayers of Vermont are a well that cannot go dry.

    Since 2013, state representative Clarkson, now Senator, has voted to raise fees and taxes on Vermonters by the astronomical amount of $303.5 million dollars. Vermonters are struggling mightily under this heavy burden. Ms. Clarkson’s voting record can be found by following this web link. http://ethanallen.org/3209-2/

    The voters should know that In February 2015, Ms. Clarkson was shameless in calling for a pay increase for herself of $17 dollars per hour for services done for constituents when the legislature is not in session. http://www.wcax.com/story/28131031/call-to-increase-pay-for-vt-lawmakers Sacrifice used to be a prerequisite for public service. Apparently this is not a concern for Ms.Clarkson. It should also be known that Ms. Clarkson is one of the most vocal opponents of school choice in Vermont Meanwhile, she chooses to send her own kids to the elite private Groton prep school in Massachusetts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0qF54PIYHD

    Ms. Clarkson’s “progressive” imagination appears to have no moral boundaries. In February of 2015 she also co sponsored House Bill 57. This bill gives the state the right to steal your body. Under this bill, “the state will start harvesting your body parts for its use. Although presumed to be altruistic, it is “moneytruistic.” This law is so bad on so many levels there is not time or space to decry how really bad it is.” http://www.valleyreporter.com/menu-opinion/letters/10452-the-state-to-steal-your-body

    • Just the very sale of body parts smacks of ghoulish immorality. If it simply “must” be done, the net proceeds should go to the deceased’s surviving family and/or heirs.

      Vermont gets more Chinese every day. Soon there will be organ harvesting vans and donor detention centers across the state. That is the actuality in the “other” Peoples Republic.

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