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Senate Economic Development Committee Approves Modified Jobs Bill

Hat tip to the Vermont Chamber of Commerce for this update.

Senate Economic Development Votes Out Jobs Bill 

The Senate Economic Development Committee completed its work late yesterday (Thursday, Feb 11, 2010) on a Jobs Bill that allocates $8.6 million in federal stimulus funds.
The Committee, led by Senator Vince Illuzzi (R-Essex/Orleans), voted 5-0 in favor of the newly revised bill.

Vermont January 2010 Revenues Short $5.5 Million Compared to Forecast

See the story here at Vermont Digger.

More bad news for the Legislature, the Administration and Vermont's economic health. The FY2011 budget gap just widened by $5.5 Million as FY2010 revenues for January are below the forecast which is only one month old.

Fundamental change is needed to get the economy back on track and state spending must be reduced substantially for the both the short and long term. That, coupled with policies that move government out of the way are the only solutions to Vermont's job and financial pain. Raising taxes is NOT the answer

In a nutshell (HT to

Keeping Score on 'Challenges for Change'

Much of the $38 Million savings proposed in the report Challenges for Change produced by the consultant hired by the Joint Legislative Government Accountability Committee will come hard, very hard. These savings should begin to accrue on July 1, 2010. The agencies should hit the ground running to make these changes pay off as predicted. But I'll bet my dollar to your doughnut that implementation planning has barely begun in the various state agencies.

Who's job is it to keep score on these savings? The enabling legislation states, "At least annually, the committee (Joint Legislative Government Accountability Committee)shall report its activities, together with recommendations, if any, to the general assembly." That's hardly sufficient to track progress.

VEH Presentation by T. Licata in Manchester VT Feb 7, 2010

Tom Licata presented this sobering view of both the United States and Vermont's frail and worsening financial condition. It's not a pretty picture. We urge Vermont's Legislature to reduce spending not only to balance the budget, but to reset expectations about what Vermont's tax base can support.
There is no additional taxing capacity in Vermont without private sector job growth, a goal that has been touted, yet thwarted by Vermont's spendthrift and business-unfriendly policies.
Click on the presentation below to view it. You can also see our Vermont-focused presentation  by clicking on the upper right link on our home page.

VEH Founder Tom Licata to Speak in Manchester, VT Feb. 7

“The Coming Tsunami: The Dire State of the Vermont Economy”

A Vermonters for Economic Health/Kemper Report


SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
1:30 PM
Mark Skinner Library
48 West Road, Manchester, VT

Tom Licata, MBA, College of William and Mary; Burlington, VT Resident & Community Volunteer; 10 years in corporate finance & strategic planning; founder, Vermonters for Economic Health

Hugh Kemper, B.A., Harvard; Londonderry, VT Resident & Community Volunteer; Managing Director, JP Morgan, 30+ years; Flood Brook School Board Member 2005-2008


Legislative News from Colchester Rep. Jim Condon

This Legislative update by Rep. Jim Condon was originally published in
the Colchester Sun on January
28, 2010. It is presented here with Rep. Condon's permissio.

"There was more circumstance than pomp last week when Governor Jim Douglas delivered his final budget address to the state legislature.

Comparing Vermont’s current economic situation to the Great Flood of 1927, Douglas suggested our state’s economic foundation should be rebuilt, much like our roads and bridges were reconstructed and our infrastructure strengthened after the big flood.