VBSR’s 2017 Legislative Agenda
Based on feedback from our members and development from our Public Policy Committee, VBSR worked on the following key issues at the Vermont State House this year, as well as on a number of secondary issues.
Effective Use of State Contracting
The state of Vermont is a big purchaser of goods and services. We can better maximize the economic development potential of this spending by awarding more contracts to companies that create good jobs, as opposed to companies whose wages are so low that employees need to utilize social welfare programs to help pay their bills. This creates an incentive in our economy for companies to focus on creating jobs that pay well and provide good benefits to our employees – ensuring that our tax dollars are properly spent.
Vermont should develop responsible contracting reforms to improve the quality of jobs generated with state spending and support businesses that create livable jobs with good benefits.
Clean Water Economy
Vermont’s lakes and rivers are essential parts of our quality of life and our economy. Without decisive action, this is all at risk. VBSR believes this is the time for Vermont to invest in a Clean Water Economy – one that values drinkable, swimmable, and fishable waters.
Vermont should not delay in creating a fair and sustainable source of financing to clean up Lake Champlain and our other waterways.
Child Care Affordability
Vermont’s economy suffers when businesses cannot retain talented employees due to child care challenges. Making high quality child care more affordable will put Vermonters back to work and give our children, who are the state’s future workforce, a strong foundation for success.
The state should implement the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Affordable Child Care and put Vermonters back to work.
Supporting Independent Contractors
The economy succeeds when the workforce has both flexibility and stability – and Vermont should not sacrifice one for the other. VBSR believes that state rules around the hiring of independent contractors can be modified and the state can retain and protect the important employee standards that most working Vermonters enjoy.
Vermont should adopt the federal DOL employment test as the standard for determining status and use state resources to target industries prone to misclassification.
A Zero Carbon Economy
Vermont should reform the tax code by putting a fair and appropriate price on carbon pollution and use the revenue to lower taxes to grow our economy. Additional investments made in efficiency and green energy will create good-paying jobs that can’t be exported outside Vermont.