February 18, 2022
How can Vermont retain its existing workforce, recruit more people to move here, and increase housing options for workers? The Vermont Chamber added its voice to this issue, and we need to hear yours. Contact msullivan@vtchamber.com to share the impact the housing market has on your business and employees.
As the House and Senate work on their respective economic development bills, details are emerging on the workforce investments that the Vermont Chamber has been advocating for, including relocation incentives, the redeployment of economic recovery grants, and investments in the CTE system. Read more.
Details on the formula and process for providing more grants to business are nearly complete with the total appropriation still in question. The formula and criteria for awarding these grants was problematic, leaving $26 million still available. The Vermont Chamber is supporting a new effort to deploy these funds which would provide a VEDA loan that could be converted to a grant quickly, allowing more businesses to access relief faster, without taking on more debt. Read more.
Vermont’s housing crisis continues to be a focus of concern in communities, businesses, and the media. With crossover weeks away, the Senate Economic Housing and General Affairs Committee needs to take on this sense of urgency in review of their Omnibus Housing Bill. The Senate Economic Housing and General Affairs Committee Chair is in conversation with the Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, which has been working on a housing and Act 250 proposal, on what will happen between their two bills. Read more.
The House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development took a deeper look at the Administration’s Regional Relocation Network Proposal. Marketing tactics executed by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing will be geared towards filling the relocation pipeline with leads via broad awareness messaging and targeted efforts to recruit high-demand professions such as nursing, healthcare, and trades. If you have questions or comments on this proposal or Vermont’s workforce shortage, please contact govaffairs@vtchamber.com. Read more.
Senate Finance dismantled the Corporate Income Tax modernization proposal passed by the House last year, leaving only a $9 million increase in corporate income taxes. The Committee removed the Single Sales Factor, which is the driving component of the bill. Committee members are exploring other tax cuts or incentives that help businesses instead of Single Sales Factor which would create a revenue neutral tax proposal. Read more.
After Governor Scott vetoed a paid family leave program in 2020, advocates regrouped and brought new proposals, which are now working their way through the committee process. The Vermont Chamber believes that the best way to support workers getting back to work is to make critical investments in childcare, which is consistently reported as the top concern for parents and caregivers. Read more.
  • CTE Funding: H.483, which set out to fix the funding issues that have long plagued the CTE system, has been amended to task the Agency of Education with creating an implementation plan due in July of 2023. The Vermont Chamber is disappointed that that the Legislature, again, has delayed making this a priority. Other portions of the Governor’s agenda on CTE are being discussed as part of the workforce investment bill, H.703.
  • Military Pension Tax Exemption for Workforce Recruitment: The Vermont Chamber testified in the Senate Finance Committee in support of fully exempting military pensions for workforce recruitment, retention, and diversity, and to make Vermont more attractive and competitive with other states. Vermont is facing a workforce labor shortage crisis, and the proposed $3.1 million dollar tax expenditure for a full exemption is a small, affordable, timely, and much-needed investment in building our future workforce.
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