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ACT NO. 119

(H.837)

Livable Income, Employment Practices, Economic Development

This act amends certain state laws and policies in order to move toward a Vermont economy that assures that any full-time Vermont worker can earn a livable income sufficient to pay for the worker’s basic needs. Among them are an increase in the earned income tax credit from 25 to 32% of the federal earned income tax credit, and an increase in the minimum wage from $5.75 to $6.25, the latter after December 31, 2000.

The act also provides for additional study and data collection toward the goal of providing a livable income including: the annual development of a basic needs budget by the Legislative Joint Fiscal Office, comprehensive regional workforce strategic plans by the Regional Workforce Investment Boards, a state public assistance analysis by the Secretary of Human Services, and a tax and fiscal analysis by the Commissioner of Taxes containing recommendations for modifications to existing public assistance and tax programs, wage and benefit information from the Commissioner of Employment and Training, information on health care coverage and pension benefits for human service workers by the Agency of Human Services, and additional health care coverage data collection by the Agency of Human Services.

The act also creates a small business advisory commission to promote cooperative and constructive relations between the state and the small business community.

Effective Date: July 1, 2000