Vermont Introduces “Paid Political Leave” Bill

MONTPELIER – Politicians have a very rough go of things, according to many local politicians, and since they are the ones who make the laws they are in a unique position to do something about it. A new bill introduced this week would provide three years off with pay every four years to any politician planning any sort of reelection campaign.

The bill, entitled “The Paid Political Leave Act,” would require employers to pay their employees during the years that they are campaigning, although it does limit the paid time off to only three years out of every four. This was a compromise put in after some Vermont businesses complained about the initially proposed four years off every four years.

With broad bipartisan support, the bill is expect to pass easily, although it is not clear whether Governor Scott will sign the legislation. Sources close to Gov. Scott say it may depend on whether or not he decides to run for reelection himself. Otherwise, he may get out his best friend and partner, the veto stamp.

Vermonters themselves are split on the bill and its ramifications, with some residents protesting what they call an “unfair” piece of legislation. Others are more supportive of the bill, saying it gives them new incentive to run for office themselves.

“I never thought about running for office before,” said Brattleboro resident Hugh Cares, “but maybe I will now. I don’t have to win or nothing to get paid, do I?”

Image Credits: Seven Days.

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