House Advances Economic Development Priorities
Contact: Katherine Levasseur
Montpelier, VT - The Vermont House on May 4, 2017 advanced critical economic development legislation that will keep Vermont’s communities prosperous, economy strong, and future healthy.
S.135, the economic development bill is designed to implement several diverse strategies that will promote a variety of forms of economic development. These include housing expansions, retirement options, and workforce development. The bill improves the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program (VEGI), expands the state’s apprenticeship and internship programs, and creates a voluntary public retirement program-The Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan-to ensure Vermonters have a simple and affordable option to save for retirement.
“Within the next fifteen years, it is projected that one out of every five Vermonters will be aged sixty-five or older. By making it easier for workers to save their own money for retirement, the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan will be critical for helping them build financial security later in life and will reduce the need for government programs to aid future retirees who might otherwise end up living in poverty,” said House Human Services Committee Chair, Representative Ann Pugh.
The economic development legislation also analyzes the state’s “benefits cliff,” encourages microbusiness development, and creates business accelerator initiatives.
“This bill is an important investment in Vermont’s workers and economy” said House Commerce and Economic Development Chair, Representative Bill Botzow. “We want to keep Vermont’s economy and job market growing as we unite the needs of employers and employees throughout the state. Supporting apprenticeships and internships connected to career technical education will provide more young Vermonters and adults with the skills they need to lead healthy, productive lives in Vermont.”
“Programs like the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan are exactly what Vermont needs to ensure our small business economy is attractive to entrepreneurs and working families” noted House Speaker Mitzi Johnson. “This bill is a comprehensive package that encourages innovation, trains a new generation of workers, and provides them with the tools they need to ensure their financial security.”