Changes to VEGI - March 20, 2024

H.10 was presented in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Representative Toleno spoke for the Committee on Appropriations, reporting in favor of its passage.

Chairman Marcotte from the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development proposed amendments be made to the bill.

These included:     

  1. The Vermont Economic Progress Council shall adopt and make publicly available a policy governing conflicts of interest that meets or exceeds the requirements of the state code of ethics.
  2. The Council shall contract with the Executive Branch State economist to perform the cost-benefit analysis using the cost-benefit model and the economist shall consult with the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) concerning the performance of the analysis and operation of the model for each application in which the value of potential incentives an applicant may earn equals or exceed $1M. 
  3. The Council shall report the aggregate number of new qualifying jobs and gross wages and salaries sorted by groups in $25,000 increments and the North American Classification System (NAICS) Code.
  4. The bill creates a Task Force on Economic Development Incentives composed of the following five members:
    1. One member of the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.
    2. One at-large member with experience in business and economic development appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
    3. One member of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs
    4. One at-large member with experience in business and economic development appointed by the Senate Committee on Committees
    5. One at-large member appointed jointly by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate Committee on Committees.  
  5. The Task Force shall conduct hearings, receive testimony, and review and consider:
    1. The purpose and performance of current State-funded economic development incentive programs.
    2. Models and features of economic development incentive programs from other jurisdictions.
  6. The Task Force shall submit a report with its findings and any recommendations for legislative action, including whether and how any proposed program addition, revision, or other legislative action would: integrate with and further advance the current workforce development and economic development systems in this State.

Representative Anthony spoke for the Committee on Ways and Means. They recommend the bill ought to pass with the following amendments:

  1. The VT Economic Progress Council shall now have nine members who are residents of the State appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate and who are knowledgeable and experienced in the subjects of community development and planning, education funding requirements, economic development, State fiscal affairs, property taxation, or entrepreneurial ventures appointed as defined in amendment language.
  2. The Council shall have an executive director appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate who is knowledgeable in subject areas of the Council’s jurisdiction and who is an exempt State employee .
  3. The Council shall not enter into executive session to discuss applications or other matters pertaining to the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program, unless the Executive Branch State economist is present and has been provided all relevant materials concerning the session.
  4. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Vermont Economic Progress Council shall not accept or approve an application for a Vermont Employment Growth Incentive on or after January 1, 2026.

The bill passed on a voice vote and third reading was ordered.


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