In a unanimous final vote on Thursday, April 1, the Vermont Senate passed H.10, a bill that allows candidates to use campaign funds to cover the expense of dependent care while running for office. Having passed final reading in the House on March 17th, H.10 will now head to the Governor’s desk.
While Vermont has made great strides in gender parity, particularly in the General Assembly, where women comprise about 42% of the body, there is still much work to be done. Vermont is only state that has never sent a woman to Washington, DC as part of our federal delegation, and has not had a female governor since Madeline Kunin.
We support this legislation as part of a larger suite of democratic reforms aimed at making Vermont elections more fair, functional, and accessible.
By enacting H.10, Vermont will not only be lowering barriers to run for office and opening the doors for more women, single parents, and members of working families to seek and hold office, but also sending the message the caregiving labor has real economic value.
We applaud the General Assembly for taking another step toward gender parity in politics. Our democracy works best when those in office reflect the diverse experiences of Vermonters.