Monday, April 18, 2011
H. 287: The Jobs Bill
On Friday morning, the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs passed amended version of H. 287, to be reconsidered by the House. The bill creates many programs that support agriculture in the state, including the new Local Food Coordinator position. The bill also contains a section entitled "State Purchase of Food and Agricultural Products." This section mandates that: " the commissioner shall use an econometric model developed and maintained jointly by the legislative and execute economists to evaluate the net cost and economic impact of purchasing food that is produced, grown or harvested on land physically located in Vermont, and of food and agricultural products that are processed or produced in Vermont." This is exactly the language we wanted in S. 63 (the bill Pollina sponsored in Senate Government Operations.) So this is a lesson in politics: if it dies somewhere, look somewhere else. Now, H.287 has to go back through the House for approval. I will let you know what happens.