Legislative Session Wrap Up

The legislative session is over, and what a year it has been for Main Street Alliance of Vermont! MSA businesses joined coalitions, testified in the statehouse, and wrote opinion pieces for their local papers - all of these actions helped inform the conversations our legislators were having. You put your name behind issues, and together we moved them forward. The voice of small business was heard in Montpelier this year! 

Thank you for your participation this legislative session. Please support MSA today so we can continue this work in the next biennium.

Screen_Shot_2016-05-09_at_2.47.29_PM.pngJaquelyn Reike, owner of Nutty Steph's in Middlesex, stands with the Governor as he signs Automatic Voter Registration into law.

Please find a summary of the issues we worked on and tracked this legislative session below.

WORKPLACE POLICY

  • Earned Leave: Vermont became the fifth state to require a minimum standard of earned leave.

  • Ban the Box: Vermont became the eighth state to support fair chance hiring.

  • Employer Health Care Assessment: The conference committee decided not to include an increase in the employer assessment in the final miscellaneous tax bill.

  • Independent Contractors: A bill that would have redefined the classification of employees and independent contractors did not move forward but is expected to be back on the table next year.

  • Public Retirement: The legislature extended authorization of a study committee looking at whether a public retirement system would be beneficial for Vermont.

HEALTH CARE

  • Dr. Dynasaur 2.0: The FY2017 budget includes funding for a study to explore the expansion of the Dr. Dynasaur program to include anyone age 26 and younger, regardless of income - taking a critical step toward addressing Vermont’s health care affordability crisis.

EDUCATION & EARLY CHILDHOOD

  • Affordable Early Child Care: The FY2017 budget included $1 million to improve market rates for the child care financial assistance program.

TAX FAIRNESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Vermont Employment Growth Incentive: The legislature extended the sunset on the VEGI program and is requiring a VEGI Policy Working Group to convene to look at ways the program can be improved, including how the program might be changed to ensure incentives will benefit the creation and growth of more small businesses.

  • Tax Nexus: The legislature passed language that would require Amazon and other online retailers, with no physical presence in the state, to remit sales tax for purchases made through their online stores. This legislation takes effect on the later of July 1, 2017 or when a pending Supreme Court case on the subject (Quill v. North Dakota) is overturned.

OTHER POLICY AREAS

  • Automatic Voter Registration: Vermont became the fourth state to enact a secure automatic voter registration process. Any eligible Vermonter who applies for or renews their driver license or ID will be automatically registered to vote.

If you want more information or have questions, visit our website or call us at 802-489-6728

The Main Street Alliance of Vermont
http://vermont.mainstreetalliance.org/

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