Note: the statute for the Vermont Commission on Women was changed by virtue of Act 52, effective June 3, 2021. The new statute is not yet posted in the Vermont Statutes Online, but we will link to it when it is.
Effective June 3, 2021
3 V.S.A. chapter 70 is added to read:
CHAPTER 70. COMMISSION ON WOMEN
§ 5025. THE COMMISSION ON WOMEN
(a) (1) The Commission on Women is created as the successor to the Governor’s Commission on Women established by Executive Order No. 20-86. The Commission shall be organized and have the duties and responsibilities as provided in this section.
(2) The Commission shall be an independent agency of the government of Vermont and shall not be subject to the control of any other department or agency.
(3) Members of the Commission shall be drawn from throughout the State and from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, age, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds and shall have had experience working toward the improvement of the status of women in society.
(b) The Commission shall consist of 16 members, appointed as follows:
(1) Eight members shall be appointed by the Governor.
(2) (A) Eight members shall be appointed by the General Assembly, four by the Senate Committee on Committees, and four by the Speaker of the House.
(B) Each chamber may appoint not more than two legislators, and if a chamber appoints two legislators, they shall not be from the same political party.
(c) (1) Not more than four legislators may serve on the Commission at one time.
(2)The terms of members shall be four years. Appointments of members to fill vacancies or expired terms shall be made by the authority that made the initial appointment to the vacated or expired term.
(d) (1) Members of the Commission shall elect biennially by majority vote the Chair of the Commission.
(2) Members of the Commission shall be entitled to receive per diem compensation and reimbursement of expenses as permitted under 32 V.S.A. §1010, which shall be paid by the Commission.
(e) Nine members shall constitute a quorum of the Commission. Once a quorum has been established, the vote of a majority of the members present at the time of the vote shall be an act of the Commission.
(f) The Commission may appoint members to an advisory council to provide information on the concerns of Vermont women and assist the Commission in the fulfillment of its responsibilities. The Commission may establish ad hoc committees or task forces to study and make recommendations to the Commission. The chair of such committees or task forces shall be appointed by the Chair of the Commission. The tenure of such committees or task forces shall be determined by the nature of the study and the project undertaken.
(g) The Commission shall conduct studies of matters concerning women, and in furtherance of that responsibility may:
(1) review Vermont statutes with regard to sex discrimination and other matters affecting the status of women;
(2) educate and inform business, education, State and local governments, and the general public about the nature and scope of sex discrimination and other matters affecting the status of women in Vermont;
(3) serve as a liaison and clearinghouse between government, private interest groups, and the general public concerned with services for women, and, in this regard, may publish a periodic newsletter to provide information to these constituencies; and
(4) promote consideration of qualified women for all levels of government positions.
(h) The powers of the Commission shall include the following:
(1) to conduct research and study of issues affecting the status of women in Vermont;
(2) to advise and consult with the Executive and Legislative branches of State government on policies affecting the status of women in Vermont;
(3) to maintain an office and hire employees as necessary to carry out its duties;
(4) to acquire on a contractual or other basis such necessary legal, technical, or research expertise and support services as it may require for the discharge of its duties;
(5) to publish periodic reports documenting the legal, economic, social, and political status, and other concerns of women in Vermont;
(6) to utilize such voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies, and organizations as may, from time to time, be offered and needed; and
(7) to accept and solicit funds, including any gifts, donations, grants, or bequests or any federal funds, for any Commission-related purposes.