March 18, 2022
The Senate economic development bill missed the crossover deadline for bills to move from one chamber to the other. Many of the bill’s proposals have been combined into H.159, which previously passed the House and is now in Senate. While the new language retains several key Vermont Chamber priorities, such as the new relocating employee incentives, the regional recruitment and relocation network, and project-based TIF, it made significant changes to the COVID-19-related paid leave grant program, as well as the VEDA forgivable loans. Read more.
The Vermont Chamber worked closely with the Senate Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs Committee, ACCD, and VEDA, to come up with a workable solution to the problems in the economic recovery grant program. However, the most recent iteration of language in H.159 is extremely concerning. Read more.
The Joint Fiscal Office released its fiscal summary of the workforce development bill, totaling $105.7 million without an expected impact on State revenues. Meanwhile, at the federal level the Vermont Chamber is continuing to advocate for solutions to the workforce shortage. Read more.
Vermont currently has the highest rate of vacant homes in the nation. This census data comes as we are facing a workforce housing crisis. Read more.
The Vermont Chamber testified in the Senate Finance Committee on H.437, a bill that includes a proposal to expand the manufacturing tax exemption. The Vermont Chamber supports this change, as it will modernize Vermont’s tax law, enhance workforce recruitment, retention, and upskilling efforts, modernize facilities, and make Vermont competitive with the 33 other states that have similar exemptions in place. Read more.
The Vermont Chamber testified in the House Judiciary Committee on S.113, a bill that proposes a cause of action for the remedy of medical monitoring for a person exposed to a proven toxic substance. Read more.
  • H.715 Clean Heat Standard: The House passed the Clean Heat Standard (H.715) by a vote of 96 to 44. If the Senate passes H.715 with a 2/3 majority, the measure could become law even if Governor Scott issues a veto. An effort by Rep. Harrison, Rep. Fagan and Rep. Murphy to require the Legislature to review the program design before it is implemented failed by a vote of 44 to 96. Learn more from VFD.
  • H.329 Discrimination: This bill has stalled in the House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee after receiving testimony on the impact this would have in school settings. New bill language has been proposed, but missed crossover. It will need to be incorporated into a bill previously passed by the Senate in order to pass this biennium. 
  • H.730 Liquor Law Modernization: The bill was passed favorably out of the House Ways and Means Committee with amendment and will now move to the House floor. If enacted, both fortified wines and low alcohol spirit-based beverages (known as ready-to-drink cocktails) would be permitted to be sold via retail outlets and beverage wholesalers, providing greater access to products for both licensees and consumers. The bill also contains several other modernization provisions and technical changes put forward by the Administration. 
  • S.53 Corporate Income Tax and Military Pensions: The bill was passed favorably by the Senate and will now be reviewed by a conference committee of House and Senate members. The House and Senate committees of jurisdiction took drastically different approaches to changes in the corporate income tax modernization proposals and reconciliation between these two bodies may be challenging.
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