State House Committee Work Continues
Much of the focus last week in the Vermont House and Senate was on various gun control measures. Those topics took up lots of floor time for both chambers, but work continued on the committee level on many proposals that VBSR is tracking this year.
MINIMUM WAGE - The House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee began hearings last week on S.40, the Senate-passed bill increasing Vermont’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. VBSR is scheduled to testify on the bill this week. Meanwhile, the committee will also hold a public hearing on the bill on Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 PM. The hearing will take place in Room 11, located on the first floor of the State House, near the main entrance. Witnesses can start signing up to speak at 5:00 PM. Witness testimony will be limited to only two or three minutes. The committee will also accept written testimony. For information about this event, or to submit written testimony, please contact the Committee at 802-828-3559 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Read VBSR’s testimony to the Senate about increasing the minimum wage.
PAID FAMILY LEAVE – The Senate Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs Committee began hearings last week on the House-passed H.196, which establishes a paid family leave insurance system in Vermont. VBSR testified in support of the bill last week and the committee has now scheduled a public hearing for next week – Thursday, April 10 from 5-7 PM. Anyone interested in testifying or submitting written testimony on the bill should contact the committee at email@example.com or by calling 802-822-3803.
CARBON PRICING - Chris Miller, the activism manager at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, had a great editorial in the Times Argus newspaper last week discussing the economic development potential of putting a price on carbon pollution. “The ESSEX Plan is a thoughtful proposal that would greatly benefit our state by delivering clean energy and low electricity rates for all Vermonters,” Miller wrote. Read the rest of the editorial.
PUBLIC RETIREMENT - Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce will hold a public hearing on the Green Mountain Secure Retirement plan today, Monday, April 2, at 1:30 PM on the second floor of the BCA Center on Church Street in Burlington. This is an important step forward in creating a successful retirement program for Vermonters who don’t get this benefit through their job. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback Needed on Business Experience in Energy Financing
Join the American Sustainable Business Council for a webinar on April 5th 1 – 2 PM ET with two of these champions, Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas of Vermont and Rep. Jen Benson of Massachusetts, both members of the Carbon Costs Coalition. Hear them discuss the details of their proposals to put a price on carbon, the most efficient, business friendly way to reduce emissions, and why there is so much regional momentum around this solution.
Read more about the ESSEX Plan, a proposal created by VBSR businesses to use a price on carbon pollution to lower green electricity rates.