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Week 13:

April 9, 2018

VRGA Members receive a weekly Legislative Update via email. To receive this valuable benefit join today at: vtrga.org/join

To view a full list of the bills we are following during the 2018 Legislative Session visit: vtrga.org/government-affairs-resources

The Budget Address will be the week of January 23, 2018 for the 2019 budget cycle. The Governor has stated he will not support any State Agency fees/taxes increases and expects level funding. This could set up the session for a major showdown in the context of the current and FY19 projected budget gaps.

The Legislative Joint Fiscal Committee met in August to review the position of the current year budget. At that time, $12.6 million in rescissions were enacted and it was assumed the current budget had a $28 million budget gap. The FY19 budget is projected to have an estimated $45 million revenue gap. 

Additionally, the emerging economic policies from the Trump Administration remain the most significant factor affecting the current economy for most sectors; health care, transportation, manufacturing, construction and overall growth in the economy. Uncertainty constrains economic growth and the addition of jobs. Vermont's budget relies on $2 Billion in federal funding. 

Early in the session, it is expected that the Vermont Senate will pass an increase in the minimum wage; with stepped increases over the next 4-6 years to $15/hour. The Senate has also signaled that they will finish the work on legislation mandating a "family leave" benefit for Vermont workers. At this point, it is unclear if this will be funded by the employee or both employee and employer. The House of Representatives will seek approval by members to legalize recreational marijuana. This may be a bill Governor Scott could support if road side testing for "drugged driving" can be addressed. 

The major political debate of the session will be improving and funding water quality. Both Chambers have several proposals to fund water quality projects as well as move oversight from the Agency of Agriculture to the Agency of Natural Resources. The Governor will oppose any increased funding for water quality until current revenue is targeted and projects are put in place. Much of this will be more about trying to position Governor Scott as "not addressing clean water" as well as garnering votes and quotes for the upcoming fall elections.



Contact Information:
Erin Sigrist
President
Vermont Reail & Grocers Association
802-839-1928
erin@vtrga.org
"VRGA works hard every day for Stowe Mercantile and all Vermont Retailers.  In Montpelier and In Washington, experienced, expert representation make VRGA an important presence in finding creative solutions to the tough challenges we face.  It’s hard enough to stay in business, but being a member of VRGA makes the challenge easier."

Marc Sherman
Stowe Mercantile
Stowe, Vermont
Government Affairs
April 9, 2018
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Vermont Retail & Grocers Association
148 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Telephone: 802-839-1928
Fax: 802-839-1927
Email: info@vtrga.org