Vermont’s executive branch is organized into nine departments to run the state, as follows:
1. General Government
This includes the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer, Administration, Finance and Management, Tax Administration, Auditor of Accounts, Building and General Services, the Labor Relations Board, the state lottery and other functions that don’t fit neatly into the other departments.
2. Protection to Persons and Property
This department handles policing, prosecutions and regulation. Within this department sits the Secretary of State, Attorney General, States Attorney’s, Sheriffs and Deputies, the State Police, the National Guard, Agriculture, Financial and Utility regulators and Liquor Control. Interestingly, the prison system is handled in the Human Services department.
3. Human Services
This is one of the very big cost centers of Vermont. This department administers Medicaid, mental health services, children and family services (welfare), disability, aging and independent living, the veterans home and, as noted above, corrections.
The key programs administered here are unemployment insurance, workers compensation, OSHA and job training.
5. General Education
This is the other big cost center. This department oversees and funds all public K-12 schools in the state.
6. Higher Education
Here, funding available to Vermont’s colleges and universities is administered.
7. Natural Resources
This department includes Fish and Wildlife, Forest, Parks, Recreation and Environmental Conservation.
8. Commerce and Community Development
The key functions here include housing, economic development and tourism.
This department is responsible for managing Vermont’s transportation infrastructure, including roads, highways, bridges and airports as well as the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.
Vermont Boards, Commissions, and Councils
In addition to these standing government departments, there are over 180 boards, commissions, and councils where citizen volunteers or appointees get to participate and/or advise in government decision-making.
The Informed Vermonter suspects that this may be too many. Most are no doubt required or helpful, like the State Board of Education, the Judicial Nominating Board, the Labor Relations Board and the state pension boards, to name but a few.
However, the need for the Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists and the Governors Council on Physical Fitness and Sports could be questioned by some Vermonters, particularly so if they cost any money.
According to the FY 2017 State of Vermont Executive Budget Recommendation, there are about 9,057 state government employees, excluding the 180 members of the legislature. The Governor is the fourth highest paid employee of the state with a salary $166,046 plus benefits.