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. There may be some other towns which are going to have this on the warning but the 20 listed above are the ones we know about. 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.
Between now and town meeting day, we will need to get the word out on what a state bank is, how it works and why we need it. Some of the ways we can do this is through letters to the editor, interviews on local radio shows, and mostly talking with people about state banks. It is a good idea to have someone from each town that has it on the town meeting warning give a short speech about state banks and be able to answer questions that others may have. Ideally, the organizers of the petition drives would take that role. We at Vermonters for a New Economy will continue to provide support and information to help those who will speak at town meetings feel comfortable in doing it. As always, you can find lots of information by clicking on the Public Bank link at the top of the page. We strongly encourage you to read the Public Bank Study which was undertaken by the Gund Institute, which will provide you with most of the information that you will need to answer any questions that people might have. There are also FAQ's which you can find on the materials page that will help you. If you would like to set up a public information meeting on state banks in your town and would like to have someone come and help answer questions send us a message and we will work with you to set something up.
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 [email protected].
Connect with us on:
Facebook: Vermonters for a New Economy
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 Loans 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