2017-2018 Biennium

Child Care and Benefits Cliff

Economic Development

  • H. 119 - An Act Relating to the Classification of Employees and Independent Contractors
    • A bill to establish a common definition of "independent contractor" for the workers' compensation and unemployment insurance statutes
      • In June 2017, the Vermont Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a single-member LLC would not be classified as an employee for the purposes of Unemployment Insurance.  After discussions with the VT Department of Labor, it was determined that while this case was limited to Unemployment Insurance, the arguments used by the Court in making the determination would hold true in the Workers' Compensation program as well.  The Department, therefore, released a Guidance Document in late 2017 regarding he hiring of independent contractors that opens the door to allow for greater flexibility to do so.
  •  H. 710 - An Act Relating to Beer Franchises
    • A bill to create an exception to the beer and wine franchise law for small manufacturers of malt beverages
      • Passed by the House and Senate and signed into law on May 21, 2018 (See Here)
  • H. 811 - An Act Relating to Promoting and Expanding Workforce Development and Recruitment
    • A bill to implement multiple workforce development and recruitment strategies
      • Various provisions included in other legislation that became law
  • H. 841 - An Act Relating to Miscellaneous Economic Development Provisions
    • A bill to (1) increase the amounts available under the downtown and village tax credit program; (2) expand access to the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program for small businesses; (3) create the ThinkVermont Innovation Initiative to provide flexible funding for economic development grants; (4) create a homeowner's rehabilitation tax credit pilot program; (5) expand assistance for repairing failing or failed wastewater or water supply systems; (6) increase the amounts available under the first-time homebuyer down payment assistance program; (7) expand eligible uses of energy efficiency funds in self-administered energy efficiency programs; (8) make 50 percent of the research and development tax credit refundable; (9) create a framework for public-private partnerships; and (10) increase the frequency for reviewing a village center designation to once every eight years and adopt miscellaneous amendments to enable municipal electronic filings.
      • Various provisions included in other legislation that became law

Education

  • H. 304 - An Act Relating to Making Changes to the Calculation of the Statewide Education Property Tax
    • A bill to make several changes to the state education funding system: (1) removes the excess spending penalty starting in Fiscal Year 2018; (2) creates a new system for calculating spending-adjusted tax rates that will allow towns to raise more than the base amount on an equalized basis, or allow towns that raise less than the base amount to lower their spending-adjusted tax rates.
      • Still no progress on any meaningful reform to our education funding system

Ethics

Seniors

 

2015-2016 Biennium

Economic Development

  • H. 378 - An Act Relating to Independent Contractors

    • Independent Contractor Bill passed unanimously out of House Economic Development Committee, but Big Labor (labor unions) opposed it and had ear of Speaker of House and House Leadership.  House Speaker and Leadership refused to allow bill to progress. (See Here)

 

Education

 

Ethics

Health Care

  • H. 189 - An Act Relating to Direct Enrollment in Exchange Plans

    • Under significant pressure from many, the legislative majority finally agreed to allow Vermonters to enroll and manage their insurance coverage directly with the insurance companies.  While still required to purchase insurance products only offered inside the Health Insurance Exchange, Vermonters can now manage them without having to go to Vermont Health Connect.

 

Taxes