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A Resource Guide for Nonprofit Organizations
on Influencing Vermont State Government

Essential Resources
How a Bill Becomes a Law
The Legislative Bill Tracking System
Legislative Bill Tracking Checklist
Legislative Terms and Definitions
Vermont State Government Email & Phone Directory
Members of the Vermont Legislature
Joint Fiscal Office
Vermont’s State and Federal Elected Officials
Internet Resources (Vermont State Government and Nonprofit Advocacy)
State Lobbying Law, Vermont State Statutes 2 V.S.A. 261-268
State of Vermont, Lobbyist Registration & Disclosure Forms
Federal Lobbying Rules and Regulations for Nonprofit Organizations

See also:
Nonprofit Advocacy in Vermont
Vermont Living’s Vermont Media Guide

 

 

Essential Resources

  1. The Legislative Directory, The Vermont Legislative Council, Vermont State House, State Street, Montpelier, VT, 05602, 828-2231. A biennial listing of the names, addresses, phone numbers, districts, and committee assignments of Vermont Senators and Representatives. Listed in alphabetical order and by district.
  2. Biographical Sketches of State Officers & Members of the General Assembly, The Secretary of State’s Office, Att: Elections Division, 26 Terrace Street, Montpelier, VT 05602, 828-2363. List is accompanied by a photograph and biographical sketch of each individual. Published on biennial basis. 115+ pages, free.
  3. Fiscal Facts, Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office, 1 Baldwin Street, Montpelier, Vermont, 05633-5701 An annual summary of fiscal facts relating to Vermont State Government including each the amount of funds raised by each tax
  4. Rules And Orders of the House of Representatives, Clerk of the House, State House, Montpelier, VT 05602. Booklet,17 pages.
  5. Permanent Rules of the Vermont Senate, Secretary of the Senate, State House, Montpelier, VT 05602. Booklet,16 pages.
  6. State Employee Email and Telephone Directory, General Services Administration, State Administration Building, Montpelier, VT 05602, 828-1110.
  7. A complete list of the names, phone numbers and departments of state government personnel and federal and state elected officials. Also includes a state organizational chart, map of Waterbury State Office Complex and state holidays. Free.

  8. Vermont Legislative Handbook, The Vermont Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 37, Montpelier, VT 05601, 223-3443. A list of State officials, Senate & House officers, staff for the Sergeant of Arms, Legislative Council & Joint Fiscal Office, members of the legislature by alphabet and by district, House & Senate seating charts and committee assignments. Pocket size, 51/2 x 31/2, 78 pages, free to members of the Vermont Chamber.
  9. Doing Business in Vermont, The Agency of Commerce and Community Affairs (formerly Agency of Development & Community Affairs), Economic Development Division, 109 State Street, Pavilion Building, Montpelier, VT, 05602-9990. 828-3221. A comprehensive listing of addresses, phone numbers and descriptions of state, quasi- governmental and other programs and services available for Vermont businesses. April 1996, Approx. 50-75 pages, free.
  10. Vermont Media Directory, Offered by: Kelliher Samets Volk, 212 Battery Street, Burlington, VT 05401-5282, 862-8261. A comprehensive listing of all television, radio and print outlets with up to date personnel listings. The guide also contains interviews with seasoned media veterans on the most effective way to interact with media personnel. 206 pages, $125.
  11. Lobbyist Registration and Disclosure, “Questions And Answers,” 1993. Elections Division, Office of the Secretary of State. An interpretation of the state lobbying laws. 6 pages
  12. The Nonprofit Lobbying Guide: Advocating Your Cause and Getting Results. Bob Smucker. 1991, Jossey Bass Publishers. 148 pages. A well rounded guide explaining lobbying specifically for a nonprofit audience. Produced and distributed by the Independent Sector ($24.95), 202-223-8100. They have a complete catalogue of nonprofit resources on this topic.
  13. Advocacy is Sometimes an Agency’s Best Service: Opportunities and Limits Within Federal Law (1984). Independent Sector, 202-223-8100. ($5) 32 pages.
  14. How and Why to Influence Public Policy: An Action Guide for Community Organizations. (1996) Center for Community Change, 1000 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20007. (202) 342-0567. This is the Winter 1996 (Issue 17) of Community Change, the publication of the Center, and is a thorough and informative 40 page magazine on advocacy and lobbying specifically written for grassroots community organizations. It is available for $5.
  15. Vermont Year Book. Offered by the National Survey, Vermont 05143. Fax (802) 875-2123

How a Bill Becomes a Law

The Secretary of State’s office provides a simple, easy-to-follow description of the legislative process. The same web site also features a chart of how a bill becomes a law.

 

The Vermont Legislative Bill Tracking System

Use the Legislature’s Bill Tracking web site to search for bills and resolutions by sponsor or keyword, display the current status of a specific bill or resolution, and much, much more.

 

Legislative Bill Tracking Checklist

  1. ______ Draft legislation in your own words.
  2. ______ Get a sponsor to introduce your bill.
  3. ______ Make sure your bill gets drafted by the legislative council in time to be introduced.
  4. ______ Find out what committee will begin handling your bill.
  5. ______ Find out if the committee chair will take up your bill.
  6. ______ Ask the Chair if you can testify before the committee.
  7. ______ After testimony is complete make sure the bill gets voted out of committee on time.
  8. ______ If the bill passes out of committee into another committee repeat steps 6. through 7.
  9. ______ Make sure your bill has passed through at least one chamber by the crossover deadline.
  10. ______ Celebrate: you made it through one chamber!
  11. ______ Make sure the new chamber will appoint a committee to take up your bill.
  12. ______ Repeat steps 6-9 after your bill has been passed over to the new chamber.
  13. ______ If the new chamber passes a different version of your bill talk to legislative leaders
    about appointing a conference committee to reconcile differences.
  14. ______ If your bill has passed both houses ask the Governor if s/he will sign the bill.
  15. ______ Repeat step 10.
  16. ______ Send thank you letters.

Legislative Terms and Definitions

Amendment
A change in the language of a bill.
Calendar
The daily agenda for the Senate or House of Representatives.
Clerk of the House & Senate
A non-member officer appointed to perform and direct the parliamentary and clerical functions.
Committee Chair
The presiding officer of a committee designated.
Committee Clerk
An appointed member of a legislative committee that attends to clerical duties; usually the freshman legislator on the committee.
Committee Schedule
A list of the House & Senate Committees and their daily scheduled agenda. Prepared weekly by the legislative council.
Companion Bill
A bill introduced in identical forms in both chambers.
Conference Committee
A meeting of designated House and Senate members to resolve differences in bills the leadership in both Houses would like to see passed.
Crossover
The date all bills must be passed out of one chamber in order to be ready for action in another chamber.
Drop dead date
A deadline when bills must be out of the first committee to be considered by the full chamber.
General Assembly
The official name of the legislature. The Governor begins the legislative session by addressing the General Assembly or joint meeting of the House and Senate.
Joint Fiscal Office
The administrative office of the Legislature that handles fiscal issues.
Journal
A record of the proceedings in the Senate or House of Representatives.
Legislative Council
The secretarial and legal arm of the legislative bodies. The Council is the place to call when you need information on committee assignments, agendas for the committees, the status of bills, copying assistance.
Party caucus
A meeting among members of the same political party where bills are discussed and legislative agendas are set for the week; the meetings are usually held weekly at the same time and are open to the public.
Representative
One of 150 elected members of the House Chamber.
Senator
One of 30 elected members of the Senate Chamber.
Sergeant-at-Arms
The office responsible for the upkeep and orderly conduct of the State House of Representatives. You can also call this office to leave messages for legislators and other people to call you.
Secretary of the Senate
The administrative office for the Senate
Majority leader
The chosen leader of the majority party in a chamber
Minority leader
The chosen leader of the minority party in a chamber
President of the Senate
The presiding officer of the Senate elected by the membership
President Pro Tempore
The chosen member of the House or Senate who acts in the absence of the regular presiding officer.
Rules Committee
A Committee of the House responsible for setting the rules under which House members may operate.
Speaker of the House
The presiding officer of the House elected from it’s membership.
Roll call sheets
A list of all the legislators with blank boxes you can fill in to monitor a roll call in process.
Seating chart
Seating assignments for legislators in the House and Senate.
Vermont State Constitution
The document that provides the basic principles for governing the state of Vermont.
Vermont State Statutes
The laws that have been approved by the General Assembly.

Vermont State Government Email & Phone Directory

Need the phone number or email address of anyone in state government? The Department of Buildings & General Services hosts a searchable online phone and email directory. We’ve included a few of the primary phone numbers here, just in case you’re printing this web page for offline reference.

Secretary of State 828-2363

Legislative Council 828-2231

Sergeant of Arms 1-800-322-5616

Governor’s Office 828-3333

Governor’s Hotline (Information & Referral) 1-800-649-6825

Lt. Governor 828-2226

Legislative Joint Fiscal Committee Office 828-2295

Administration Agency 828-3322

Agency of Commerce & Community Affairs 1-800-622-4553 or 828-3211

Agency of Natural Resources 241-3600

Agency of Human Services 241-2220

Agency of Transportation 828-2657

Attorney General 828-3171

The Vermont Legislative Directory
Senate


House



Vermont Joint Fiscal Office&
1 Baldwin Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05633
802-828-2295

The Vermont Joint Fiscal Office provides financial support services to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the House Ways & Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the House and Senate Transportation Committees. In addition, the Joint Fiscal Office provides non-partisan information and research services to all members of the General Assembly.

General Financial Information
Reports and Topics of Special Interest
Joint Fiscal Committee Members & Agenda
Staff Directory
More Info

Vermont’s State and Federal Elected Officials

U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy
199 Main Street, 4th Floor
Burlington, VT 05401
or
P.O. Box 933
87 State Street, Room 338
Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802-863-2525 or 800-642-3193
Web site:
Email: Senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov

U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords
30 Main Street, Suite 350
Burlington, VT 05401
or
453 Stone Cutters Way
Suite 1
Montpelier, VT 05602
802-658-6001 or 800-835-5500 (Vermont Only)
Web site: www.senate.gov/~jeffords/
To email Senator Jeffords, go to the web page at www.senate.gov/~jeffords/contact-form.html

U.S. Representative Bernard Sanders
1 Church St. 2nd Floor, Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: 802-862-0697 or 800-339-9834 (Vermont Only)
Fax: 802-860-6370
or Brattleboro, Vermont
167 Main Street, Suite 410, Brattleboro, VT 05301
Phone: 802-254-8732
Fax: 802-254-9207
Web site: bernie.house.gov
Email: bernie@mail.house.gov

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-0101
Phone: 802-828-3333 or 800-649-6825
Web site: www.gov.state.vt.us

Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie
The State House, Montpelier, VT 05633
Phone: 828-2226
Fax: 828-3198
Web site: www.leg.state.vt.us/ltgov/

State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding
133 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802-828-2301 or 800-642-3191
Web site: www.tre.state.vt.us
Email: treasurers_office@tre.state.vt.us

Secretary of State Deborah L. Markowitz
Redstone Building
26 Terrace Street, Drawer 09
Montpelier, VT 05609-1101
Phone: 802-828-2363
Web site: www.sec.state.vt.us
Email: dmarko@sec.state.vt.us

Auditor of Accounts Elizabeth Ready
132 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05633-5101
Phone: 802-828-2281 or toll-free in VT 1-877-290-1400
Fax: 802-828-2198
Web site: www.state.vt.us/sao
Email: eready@sao.state.vt.us

Attorney General William H. Sorrell
109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802-828-3171
Fax: 802-828-2154
Web site: www.state.vt.us/atg
Email: aginfo@atg.state.vt.us

Internet Resources – Vermont State Government

A great deal of information can be found on these interconnected Web pages, including current information on state agency activities, program, legislative hearings, and other initiatives. This is a good starting point for exploring Vermont State Government. See the attached cover sheets from these web areas for more information on content.

 

Vermont State Home Page

Vermont Legislative Home Page

Vermont Secretary of State Home Page

Internet Resources – Nonprofit Advocacy

The following sites will be of interest for national and regional issues and information:

Public Policy Directory

Independent Sector

Let America Speak Coalition

Twentieth Century Fund

 

Vermont Statutes Annotated, 2 V.S.A. 261-268 State Lobbying Law

The official version of the Vermont Statutes is stored on the LexisNexis web sitein a searchable database, but some people find it a little hard to navigate.

plain text version of the statutes is available from the Vermont State Legislature.

Lobbyist Forms from the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office

The Secretary of State’s office has forms for lobbyists available for download on their web site. These forms can be easily downloaded (see note below) and printed so that you can fill them out and mail them in. You CANNOT fill out the forms and submit them online, however.

Notes on downloading forms from the Secretary of State’s office:

To download a form, just click on the name of the form you need. The form you selected will begin automatically to be copied to your computer. The length of time required to copy the file to your hard disk will depend on how fast your Internet connection is, but it shouldn’t take long. Once the download is complete, you’ll need to look for the file on your computer, and its name isn’t obvious! Use the list below to figure out the name of the file you just downloaded!

Form Name File Name
Lobbyist Registration 2001-2002 2001lobreg
Lobbyist Employer Registration 2001-2002 2001lobempreg
Lobbyist Disclosure – March 25, 2002 Mar252002lobbydisc
Lobbyist Employer Disclosure – March 25, 2002 Mar252002empldisc
Lobbyist Disclosure – July 25, 2002 Jul252002lobbydisc
Lobbyist Employer Disclosure – July 25, 2002 Jul252002empldisc

Once you know the name of the file, you can open the file using your word processing software (Microsoft Word or WordPerfect).

Questions regarding registration and disclosure may be emailed to Melanie Jacobsin the Secretary of State’s office.

 

Links to Information about Federal Lobbying Rules and Regulations

Lobbying, Public Policy Advocacy and the Law Getting Started and Building Capacity

Tutorial on Federal Lobbying Law

E-Advocacy for Nonprofits: The Law of Lobbying and Election Related Activity on the Net

Internet Tools for Advocates

Nonprofit Advocacy Project

Getting Started at the State House, A Resource Guide for Nonprofit Organizations on Influencing Vermont State Government. Copyright © 1997-2003 The Snelling Center for Government and Julie A. Davis. All rights reserved.