Retirements Mark the End of an Era, and the Start of a New Chapter

With so many long-time legislators moving on from the State House, we are reflecting on the legacies of these movers and shakers, and the big shoes left to fill in their absence.

Senator Michael Sirotkin, Chair of the Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee, will retire after representing Chittenden County for nine years. He was a tireless champion for workers, exemplified this session in his efforts to make historic investments in workforce housing development with the Missing Middle Income Home Ownership Development Program. Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, who represented Stowe for 16 years, is also retiring. She was an extraordinary advocate for the Stowe community as well as the business community, and a partner to the Vermont Chamber on a variety of issues impacting local businesses through the years. Rep. Janet Ancel, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, is also retiring after representing Calais, Marshfield, and Plainfield since 2005. A former Tax Commissioner, she leaves behind a tax system with diversified revenue streams capable of weathering future economic downturns. The State House will be a different landscape without Senator Sirotkin, Rep. Schuermann, and Rep. Ancel. We thank them for their work and wish them well in the next adventure.

Rep. Warren Kitzmiller, who represented Montpelier for over 20 years, had announced that he would retire at the end of this term, but sadly he passed away this summer. A founder of Onion River Sports and longtime member of the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, he was a voice for small businesses in the State House and worked alongside the Vermont Chamber on several business initiatives over the years. The Vermont Chamber sends our condolences to his family, friends, and community.

With even more retirements in the Legislature, the mass turnover will result in many chairmanships being taken over by up-and-coming legislators. In preparation, the Vermont Chamber advocacy team is continuing to develop relationships with key legislators who are critical to our work in the State House. We are closely following the upcoming elections to stay on top of the changing landscape and intend to educate candidates and newly elected legislators on the issues that impact the Vermont business community.