|Vermont Senate Bennington District|
|1993 - present|
|January 7, 2015|
|Years in position||21|
|Per diem||$162/day (non-commuter) |
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 3, 1992|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Bachelor's||University of Vermont|
|Birthday||April 22, 1943|
|Place of birth||Framingham, MA|
|Profession||Co-Director, Youth Program|
Sears earned his B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1969.
Sears was the Co-Director for 204-206 Depot Residential Programs for Troubled Youth.
At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Sears served on the following committees:
|Vermont Committee Assignments, 2013|
|• Appropriations, Chair|
|• Judicial Rules|
|• Corrections Oversight, Chair|
|• Legislative Council|
In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Sears served on these committees:
|Vermont Committee Assignments, 2011|
|• Appropriations, Vice-chair|
|• Corrections Oversight|
|• Judicial Rules|
|• Judiciary, Chair|
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Sears served on these committees:
|Vermont Committee Assignments, 2009|
On February 8, 2013, Sears and fellow Senators Donald Collins, Richard McCormack, and David Zuckerman introduced a bill to impose more requirements on many independent schools. Under Senate Bill 91, any independent schools which receives public tuition funds for more than one third of its students would be required to hire only state-certified teachers, accept all publicly funded students who apply so long as space permits, provide free and reduced-price lunch to eligible students, and be approved to offer at least four categories of special education. John McClaughry of the Ethan Allen Institute, a free-market think tank, criticized McCormack's bill as "clearly designed to put as many general purpose independent schools under the big fat thumb of the Education Agency in Montpelier." He accused McCormack of attempting to rush the bill through without input from the independent schools. The Vermont Independent Schools Association also opposed the bill, saying, "State control of admissions and of hiring would strongly impair independent schools' ability to fulfill their unique missions." McCormack and bill supporters argued that the independent schools were weakening public education by attracting students and state tuition dollars away from public schools without being required to meet state mandates, such as the requirement to offer expensive special education services. The Vermont National Education Association and the Vermont School Board Association endorsed SB 91. The bill was referred to the Education Committee, chaired by McCormack. Collins and Zuckerman are also members of the five-member committee.
- See also: Vermont State Senate elections, 2012
Sears won re-election in the 2012 election for Vermont State Senate Bennington District. Sears was unopposed in the August 28 Democratic primary and was unopposed in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.
- See also: Vermont State Senate elections, 2010
Sears ran for re-election to the 3rd District Seat (Bennington District) in 2010. He ran against Robert Hartwell in the primary. In the general election he defeated Patricia Blair (R), Gerald Woodard (R), and Craig Hill (I) on November 2, 2010.
|Vermont State Senate, Bennington District, General Election (2010)|
|Dick Sears (D)||8,615|
|Gerald Woodard (R)||4,252|
|Patricia Blair (R)||4,001|
|Craig Hill (I)||866|
On November 4, 2008, Sears won re-election by finishing first for the two-seat Bennington District of the Vermont State Senate, receiving 12,097 votes ahead of Democrat Robert Hartwell (8,975), Republicans Gerald Woodward (5,166) and Ruth Harvie (4,987), and write-ins (34).
Sears raised $10,745 for his campaign, against $5,795 by Hartwell, $5,700 by Woodward, and $6,270 by Harvie.
|Vermont State Senate, Bennington District|
|Richard Sears (D)||12,097|
|Robert Hartwell (D)||8,975|
|Gerald Woodward (R)||5,166|
|Ruth Harvie (R)||4,987|
Comprehensive donor information for Sears is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Sears raised a total of $34,312 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 19, 2013.
|Richard Sears's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||Vermont State Senate, District Bennington||$11,105|
|2010||Vermont State Senate, District Bennington||$12,462|
|2008||Vermont State Senate, District Bennington||$10,745|
|Grand Total Raised||$34,312|
2012Sears won re-election to the Vermont State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Sears raised a total of $11,105.
|Vermont State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Richard Sears's campaign in 2012|
|Vermont Association of Realtors||$400|
|Marijuana Policy Project||$300|
|Total Raised in 2012||$11,105|
|Source:Follow the Money|
In 2010, Sears received $12,462 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.
|Vermont State Senate 2010 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Richard Sears's campaign in 2010|
|Grocery Manufactures Association||$1,000|
|OAS LLC DBA Valley Vista||$500|
|Vermont Chamber Of Commerce||$500|
|Corrections Corp Of America||$500|
|Total Raised in 2010||$12,462|
Sears raised $10,745 for the 2008 election.
His major contributors are listed below.
|Corrections Corporation of America||$500|
|Vermont Association of Realtors||$400|
|Vermont State Dental Society||$250|
|Vermont Retail Lumber Dealers Association||$250|
|Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC||$250|
The Ethan Allen Institute, a Vermont-based free-market public policy research and education organization, released its biennial publication, the Vermont Voters' Report Card, for the years 2011-2012. The report showed how Vermont legislators in the state House and state Senate voted on key issues important to the Institute. Here's how Sears voted on the selected bills:
|Vermont Voters Scorecard, 2011-2012|
|National Popular Vote||Green Mountain Care||Green Mountain Care||Green Mountain Care||Tax Bill||Free Speech||Health Exchange||CVPS Rebate||Cloud Computing|
Sears has a wife, Beverly.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Richard + Sears + Vermont + Senate"
- All stories may not be relevant to this legislator due to the nature of the search engine.
- Biography from the Vermont Secretary of State website
- Legislative profile from Project Vote Smart
- Biography from Project Vote Smart
- Campaign Contributions: 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1996
- Sen. Sears on State Surge
- List of Vermont Senators
- Text of SB 91, accessed March 7, 2013
- John McClaughry, Ethan Allen Institute, "The Sudden New Assault on Independent Schools," accessed March 7, 2013
- [Caledonian Record, "Senate Bill Threatens School Choice, Independent Schools," February 26, 2013]
- [Alicia Freese, VTDigger.org (Vermont Journalism Trust), "Bill would attach strings to public funds to independent schools," February 28, 2013]
- Official primary candidate list
- General Election 2010 Official Results
- Vermont State Senate official 2008 election results
- Follow the Money's report on Sears's 2008 campaign contributions
- followthemoney.org, "Sears, Richard," accessed September 19, 2013
- followthemoney.org, "2010 contributions," accessed December 23, 2013
- Campaign contributions to Richard Sears
- Ethan Allen Institute "Report Cards," accessed September 10, 2013