State Senate


Party: DEM./PROG.

District: Chittenden


Contact Information


Daytime Phone: (802) 503-5266

Evening Phone: (802) 503-5266

[email protected]

Legislative Web Page


Phil Baruth is currently the Democratic Majority Leader of the Vermont State Senate, and is now seeking his fourth term in office. He's served as Majority Leader for four years, done two years on Senate Agriculture, four years on Senate Economic Development, and six years with the Senate Education Committee. Phil teaches at the University of Vermont; he was also a longtime and award-winning commentator for Vermont Public Radio. His biography of Patrick Leahy, LEAHY: A LIFE IN SCENES, is due out in early 2017.

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VTDigger News Articles
Top Priorities Tracker
Q: What are your Top 3 Priorities?

1As a member of the Economic Development Committee, I've tried very hard to improve the lives of workers and the climate for small business simultaneously. Some people will tell you that's impossible, but organizations like Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility prove the truth of it every day. I was a prime mover behind the Paid Sick Leave bill that was signed into law last session; ditto for the hike in the minimum wage the session before. At the same time, I wrote legislation to help pay closing expenses for first-time homebuyers, an initiative forwarded by the Lake Champlain Chamber as business-friendly.

2In the last VPR/Castleton poll, some 89% of Vermonters supported legislation requiring Universal Background Checks on all firearm purchases, which is to say the closing of the Internet and gun show loopholes. We already have background checks at licensed dealers; this bill would simply say that we want to make sure that common-sense protection applies to sales that can now be conducted in a parking lot for cash with no scrutiny at all. I'll be filing a bill in January to accomplish this. At a rally this past August, all of the Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor publicly declared their support.

3I believe we should change the funding mechanism for the Clean Water legislation passed two years ago. As it stands now, the legislation is funded by the property transfer tax, and in that way there is no connection (necessarily) between the tax and the act of polluting. I'd like to go back to a proposal worked out between the Chairs of Senate Ag and Natural Resources, one that tied fees and taxes to behavior that results in more phosphorous and other fertilizers in Lake Champlain.