Town Meeting Campaign
We were successful in getting articles in favor of a state bank on the town meeting warnings in 20 towns. The towns are: Bakersfield, Barnet, Berlin, Calais, Craftsbury, East Montpelier, Enosburg, Fayston, Greensboro, Marlboro, Montpelier, Plainfield, Putney, Randolph, Rochester, Royalton, Ryegate, Tunbridge, Waitsfield, and Warren. We wish to thank all those who engaged in the process of talking to their neighbors and gathering the necessary signatures.
The other really good news is that Washington County State Senator Bill Doyle has agreed to include a question asking people if they support a state bank on his annual town meeting questionaire so even those who live in towns that will not be discussing a state bank as part of the town meeting agenda will be able to weigh in on the question.
In towns that are going to take up the article requesting the legislature to create a state bank in VT, it would be advisable for someone to give a brief talk describing what a state bank is, why we need it and what it can do for us. for those who are willing to do so, we have a whole host of resources that will provide you with more information than you will probably be required to use at the meeting but it is better to be safe than sorry. If someone asks something you cannot answer, don't be afraid to say you cannot answer it. We cannot be expected to know all the answers. If you need to follow up and get answers that you don't know to people, you can contact us and we will provide you with a response.
The faq's that we have put togther will probably provide you with all of the information you need to answer any questions that come up at town meeting. You can find these here and here. If you didn't get our latest email update, you can read it here. We even have a Power Point Presentation which you can use if you so desire. If that is not enough and you find yourself stuck, you might be able to get some ideas from these town meeting presentations.
S.204 is the current bill dealing with state banking. It would grant the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) with all the powers of a bank. It seeks to create a "10 Percent for VErmont" program which would deposit 10 percent of Vermont's unrestricted revenues in the VEDA bank and allow VEDA to leverage this money, in the same way that private banks do now, to fund some of the unfunded capital needs defined in the Gund Study. VEDA could also partner with community banks, in the same manner as the Bank of North Dakota, to create loans which would help create economic opportunities for Vermonters. You can read the bill here.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for their consideration. The Finance Committee is one of the busiest committees in the Senate and it will probably take some prodding to get them to consider it. The members of the Finance Committe are:
Tim Ashe, Chair-Chittenden
Mark McDonald, Vice-Chair-Orange
We encourage you to contact these senators and urge them to take up S.204. You can find their contact info here. Your input will be particularly effective if any of these Senators is representing the district that you live in. The Government Operations Committee is also considering the issue of state banking and it would not hurt to contact them to express your support of state banking.
There is a companion bill, H.627, which has been introduced into the House by Rep. Susan Hatch Davis. That bill has been referred to the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development. The expectation is that the work on the 10 Percent for Vermont bill will take place in the Senate so there is no current plan to take it up in the House although this could change if there was public pressure on the House to consider the bill.
Vermonters for a New Economy is a coalition of organizations, businesses, and individuals who are all working to create a new economy for Vermont. You can work with us to find new ways to own and operate businesses, do our banking, exchange goods and services, finance projects, and earn income. This work enables us to pursue regenerative economic activities to strengthen our food systems, build renewable energy, reuse and recycle byproducts, and foster creativity, culture, and healthy lifestyles. You can join by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In the Press:
Check out this awesome New Economy Supplement in The Bridge Newspaper: The supplement highlights a lot of the themes of the week, and most of the authors will be making presentations at the New Economy Nights around the state. - New Economy Supplement
Vermont Woman Newspaper won a national award for their series called "An Economy of Our Own" by Rickey Gard Diamond. The award was for the Best Investigative or In-Depth Series, and features stories about many people involved in Vermonters for a New Economy.
Video posted online by moderator, Alfred "Tuna" Snider, of the economic debate from April 24 - Video: "Is economic growth good for people and the environment?"
Steve Zind of Vermont Public Radio captures the essence of the 'Rumble in the Econ Jungle' in this article from April 25 - UVM Event Examines Vermont's New Economy