Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 3: Executive

Chapter 068: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF RACIAL EQUITY

  •  [Section 5001 repealed effective June 30, 2024.]

    § 5001. Position

    (a) There is created within the Executive Branch the position of Executive Director of Racial Equity to identify and work to eradicate systemic racism within State government.

    (b) The Executive Director of Racial Equity shall have the powers and duties enumerated within section 2102 of this title and shall work collaboratively with and act as a liaison between the Governor's Workforce Equity and Diversity Council, the Vermont Human Rights Commission, and the Governor's Cabinet.

    (c) The Executive Director shall be housed within and have the administrative, legal, and technical support of the Agency of Administration.

    (d) The Executive Director shall report to and be under the general supervision of the Governor, or, to the extent such supervisory authority is delegated, the Secretary of Administration. The Administration shall not prevent or prohibit the Executive Director from initiating, carrying out, or completing the duties of the Executive Director as set forth in section 5003 of this title. (Added 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 28, 2018; repealed on June 30, 2024 by 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 8(1).)

  •  [Section 5002 repealed effective June 30, 2024.]

    § 5002. Racial Equity Advisory Panel

    (a) The Racial Equity Advisory Panel is established. The Panel shall be organized and have the duties and responsibilities as provided in this section. The Panel shall have the administrative, legal, and technical support of the Agency of Administration.

    (b)(1) The Panel shall consist of five members, as follows:

    (A) one member appointed by the Committee on Committees who shall not be a current legislator;

    (B) one member appointed by the Speaker of the House who shall not be a current legislator;

    (C) one member appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who shall not be a current legislator;

    (D) one member appointed by the Governor who shall not be a current legislator; and

    (E) one member appointed by the Human Rights Commission who shall not be a current legislator.

    (2) Members shall be drawn from diverse backgrounds to represent the interests of communities of color throughout the State, have experience working to implement racial justice reform and, to the extent possible, represent geographically diverse areas of the State.

    (3) The term of each member shall be three years, except, so that the term of one regular member expires in each ensuing year of the members first appointed, one shall serve a term of: one year, to be appointed by the Human Rights Commission; two years, to be appointed by the Governor; three years, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; four years, to be appointed by the Committee on Committees; and five years, to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. As terms of currently serving members expire, appointments of successors shall be in accord with the provisions of this subsection. 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. Members shall serve until their successors are elected or appointed. Members shall serve not more than three consecutive terms in any capacity.

    (4) Members of the Panel shall elect by majority vote the Chair of the Panel, who shall serve for a term of three years after the implementation period. Members of the Panel shall be appointed on or before September 1, 2018 in order to prepare as they deem necessary for the establishment of the Panel, including the election of the Chair of the Panel. Terms of members shall officially begin on January 1, 2019.

    (c) The Panel shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

    (1) work with the Executive Director of Racial Equity to implement the reforms identified as necessary in the comprehensive organizational review as required by subsection 5003(a) of this title;

    (2) advise the Executive Director to ensure ongoing compliance with the purpose of this chapter, and advise the Governor on strategies for remediating systemic racial disparities in statewide systems of government; and

    (3) on or before January 15, 2020, and annually thereafter, report to the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations on:

    (A) the extent to which the State is achieving the performance targets and measures as developed pursuant to subsection 5003(c) of this title; and

    (B) the nature and quality of the collaboration between the Governor's Cabinet and the Executive Director.

    (d) Each member of the Panel shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement of expenses pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 1010. (Added 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 28, 2018; repealed on June 30, 2024 by 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 8(1).)

  •  [Section 5003 repealed effective June 30, 2024.]

    § 5003. Duties of Executive Director of Racial Equity

    (a) The Executive Director of Racial Equity (Director) shall work with the agencies and departments to implement a program of continuing coordination and improvement of activities in State government in order to combat systemic racial disparities and measure progress toward fair and impartial governance, including:

    (1) overseeing a comprehensive organizational review to identify systemic racism in each of the three branches of State government and inventory systems in place that engender racial disparities;

    (2) managing and overseeing the statewide collection of race-based data to determine the nature and scope of racial discrimination within all systems of State government;

    (3) developing a model fairness and diversity policy and reviewing and making recommendations regarding the fairness and diversity policies held by all State government systems; and

    (4) temporarily overseeing the establishment of the Health Equity Advisory Commission established pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 252 until the Office of Health Equity is established.

    (b) Pursuant to section 2102 of this title, the Director shall work collaboratively with State agencies and departments to gather relevant existing data and records necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter and to develop best practices for remediating systemic racial disparities throughout State government.

    (c) The Director shall work with the agencies and departments and with the Chief Performance Officer to develop performance targets and performance measures for the General Assembly, the Judiciary, and the agencies and departments to evaluate respective results in improving systems. These performance measures shall be included in the agency's or department's quarterly reports to the Director, and the Director shall include each agency's or department's performance targets and performance measures in his or her annual reports to the General Assembly.

    (d) The Director shall, in consultation with the Department of Human Resources and the agencies and departments, develop and conduct trainings for agencies and departments regarding the nature and scope of systemic racism and the institutionalized nature of race-based bias. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to discharge the existing duty of the Department of Human Resources to conduct trainings.

    (e) The Director shall periodically report to the Racial Equity Advisory Panel on the progress toward carrying out the duties as established by this section.

    (f) On or before January 15, 2020, and annually thereafter, the Director shall report to the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations demonstrating the State's progress in identifying and remediating systemic racial bias within State government. (Added 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 28, 2018; amended 2021, No. 33, § 4; repealed on June 30, 2024 by 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 8(1).)

  •  [Section 5004 repealed effective June 30, 2024.]

    § 5004. Information; disclosure and confidentiality

    (a) Confidentiality of records.

    (1) Any records transmitted to or obtained by the Executive Director of Racial Equity and the Racial Equity Advisory Panel that are exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act shall remain exempt and shall be kept confidential to the extent required by law.

    (2) Draft reports, working papers, and internal correspondence between the Director and the Panel shall be exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act and shall be kept confidential. The completed reports shall be public records.

    (b) Exceptions.

    (1) The Director and Panel members may make records available to each other, the Governor, and the Governor's Cabinet as necessary to fulfill their duties as set forth in this chapter. They may also make records pertaining to any alleged violations of antidiscrimination statutes available to any State or federal law enforcement agency authorized to enforce such statutes.

    (2) Absent a court order for good cause shown or the prior written consent of an individual providing information or lawfully obtained records to the Director or the Panel, the Director and Panel Members may decline to disclose:

    (A) the identity of the individual if good cause exists to protect his or her confidentiality; and

    (B) materials pertaining to the individual, including written communications among the individual, the Director, and the Panel and recordings, notes, or summaries reflecting interviews or discussions among the individual, the Director, and the Panel. (Added 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 28, 2018; repealed on June 30, 2024 by 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 8(1).)

  •  [Section 5005 repealed effective June 30, 2024.]

    § 5005. Nomination and appointment process

    (a) The Racial Equity Advisory Panel shall select for consideration by the Panel, by majority vote, provided that a quorum is present, from the applications for the position of Executive Director of Racial Equity as many candidates as it deems qualified for the position.

    (b) The Panel shall submit to the Governor the names of the candidates deemed most qualified to be appointed to fill the position.

    (c) The Governor shall make the appointment to the Executive Director position from the list of qualified candidates submitted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The names of candidates submitted and not selected shall remain confidential. (Added 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 28, 2018; repealed on June 30, 2024 by 2018, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 8(1).)