AN ACT RELATING TO BASIC NEEDS BUDGET CALCULATIONS TO DETERMINE LIVABLE WAGES
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 2 V.S.A. § 505 is added to read:
§ 505. LIVABLE WAGE ANALYSIS; BASIC NEEDS BUDGET
(a) The joint fiscal committee shall issue a report on or before January 15 every year. The report shall include a computation of baseline data of the cost of living in Vermont and the current wage levels within various sectors of the economy using the methodology used by the livable income study committee in its report issued on November 9, 1999. The report shall include:
(1) A set of “basic needs budgets” for various household configurations for the previous year. The “basic needs budgets” are calculations of the amount of money needed by various household configurations to maintain a decent standard of living in Vermont, using current state and federal data sources for determining such basic monthly expenses as food, housing, transportation, child care, utilities, tax burden assessment, personal expenses, and health care.
(2) Any changes in the federal minimum wage and in the minimum wage rates of surrounding and comparable states.
(3) Recommendation for changes or revisions in the methodology used to determine the basic needs budget calculations as needed.
(b) The joint fiscal committee shall present the report and its recommendations to the house committee on general, housing and military affairs and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs. At least every two years, the joint fiscal committee shall review the methodology used to calculate the basic needs budget and, after public comment, make any necessary and appropriate revisions.
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage, and the joint fiscal committee shall issue the first report pursuant to 2 V.S.A. § 505 on January 15, 2006.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street