Workforce Development (H.484) - March 21, 2023

The workforce development bill, H.484, was presented to House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. The makes several appropriations for programs that educate, train, and help businesses hire and retain workers. It also includes appropriations for forgivable loan programs, scholarships, degree and certification programs, assistance to businesses and other miscellaneous proposals to enhance workforce and economic development opportunities in the state.

The Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) estimated the bill would have a fiscal impact of $42.4M in fiscal year 2023. The bill includes a suspension of teacher licensing fees for fiscal year 2023 through 2029, which JFO estimates would result in approximate $105K in annual forgone revenue.

The Committee reviewed each appropriation and discussed the amount of funds recommended for each, which included:

  • Vermont teacher forgivable loan incentive program
  • Emerging pathways grant program
  • Educator workforce diversity
  • Professional development contract
  • Vermont serve, learn, and learn program
  • Adult education and literacy
  • Climate workforce education campaign – Advance Vermont
  • Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
  • University of Vermont office of engagement
  • Restorative Justice Bachelor of Science
  • Certificate in 3D technology
  • Critical occupations scholarships
  • Up-Skiling Vermont scholarships
  • Vermont trades scholarships
  • Vermont training program
  • Credential of value goal
  • United Way of Lamoille County – working bridges
  • Psychiatric mental health nurse practicioner
  • Emergency medical service training
  • Vermont nursing forgivable loan incentive program
  • Healthcare workforce position
  • Agency of Human Services designated and specialized service agencies
  • Small business technical assistance
  • National endowment for the art
  • Rural industry development fund

Chairwoman Lanpher and Legislative Counsel led the Committee in an excellent discussion of each program. There were a number of questions which needed to be followed up with prior committees of jurisdiction

They also want to review ARPA funding and amount of funds left over that might be applicable. Lanpher commented that the bill before them totaled over $41M and is $21M over the Governor’s recommended budget for this. She stated that the review process has just begun and the Committee needs the answers to the many questions before they can finalize each appropriation request. 



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