ADVOCACY

The following are highlights of the many issues on which AIV is currently engaged.  For more information about these or other issues AIV is working on or that you would like addressed, don't hesitate to email us at info@aivt.org.


ACTION ALERTS


Survey Requests. AIV is surveying Vermont employers on a number of key issues that will see action later this year and next.  These surveys are important to both raise awareness among employers but also help inform rulemaking and legislative debates heading into next year.  Please take a moment to consider the surveys noted below.

LEGISLATIVE ISSUES


Energy Costs for Manufacturers and Others.  In 2014, AIV convinced the legislature to require a report from the Department of Public Service and the Agency of Commerce on policy options to reduce the cost of electricity for Vermont manufacturers and other energy intensive businesses.  AIV is continuing to work with these departments on the development of concrete proposals that build on and go further than ideas addressed in the report.

AIV will be working with our Energy Task Force on this issue.  If you are interested in more information about this issue, report, or our task force, please contact us at info@aivt.orgWe are also collecting input and interest through the survey linked below -- we hope you'll take a moment to complete it.

Click here for the survey.


Independent Contractors and Employee Classification.   As many employers are aware, the Vermont Department of Labor has been determining that independent contractors must be classified as full employees at an increasing rate in recent years.  This can have significant implications for UI and workers' compensation costs and other issues affecting an employer's bottom line and business model.  There is growing consensus that legislative reform is needed, but the scope and details of any potential fix remains extremely contentious.

During the 2016 legislative session, AIV helped lead a successful effort to get effective reform legislation, H.867, passed unanimously out of the House Commerce Committee with the support of the Department.  However, upon the urging of organized labor representatives, the House leadership sidelined and ultimately killed the bill. 

AIV is now continuing to work with coalition allies to gather input and support from employers across the state and across sectors on this issue as we prepare to push for new legislation early next year.  If we are to succeed in achieving reforms that will benefit all employers and business models, it is critical to get feedback and input from as many employers as possible -- we hope you'll take a moment to complete a survey that will be posted in the next few days.  If you would like to discuss this issue further, please don't hesitate to contact us at info@aivt.org.

Check back soon for an updated survey.


Drug Use and the Workplace.  This year, both the House and Senate passed bills with different approaches to legalizing marijuana.  It remains to be seen if or when they will agree to a common bill to send to the Governor.  Among the many issues raised by this question are workplace safety and hiring challenges facing Vermont employers.  This is especially acute for manufacturers and companies relying on government contracts. 

AIV is conducting a survey of employers to ensure that these issues are part of the continuing debate and to identify additional issues.  We encourage you to complete this survey, and please don't hesitate to contact us at info@aivt.org if you want to discuss this matter further.

Click here for the survey.


Complying with Mandatory Paid Leave. Legislation mandating most Vermont employers provide paid leave was enacted in 2016. AIV is working with employers and the Vermont Department of Labor to address implementation and compliance issues and questions. We are also working with employers interested in potential amendments to the law next year. If you have interest in any of these areas, we encourage you to contact us for more information.


REGULATORY ISSUES


Broad New Chemical Regulations and Legal Liabilities.  Legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate to enact a number of new chemical and product reporting and other regulatory provisions, as well as impose a number of new legal liabilities on manufacturers and other companies.  The proposals are based largely on a working group report called for in Act 154 in 2016, which charged ANR to work with stakeholders on regulatory and legislative proposals addressing the full range of issue related to chemicals in Vermont, from use in production and in final products, storage, disposal, releases, public information, liabilities and fees, etc.  

AIV participated in the working group process and has been coordinating the regulated community's engagement on these and past chemical issues for several years.  

All manufacturers, retailers carrying chemical or consumer products, and related businesses are strongly urged to contact us at info@aivt.org to learn more about how these proposals could impact your company and different opportunities to stay informed or get engaged.

Check back soon for a related survey.


Chemicals in Children's Products. In 2014, Vermont enacted a new law governing chemicals present in products marketed for children.  The law has extensive reporting requirements and provides for potential restrictions or bans on specific chemicals or products.  Proposals to expand the law beyond children's products and initial chemicals have been introduced and will likely be debated this year and next (see chemical issue above). 

AIV successfully worked for legislation enacted earlier this year that extends the intial reporting deadline to January 1, 2017.  However, several implementation issues remain in question.

AIV is leading a coalition of Vermont employers and national trade associations in engaging on implementation of the current law and preparing to address any legislation expanding it or making related changes.  We encourage all manufacturers to contact us at info@aivt.org to learn more about the law, whether they are currently covered, and how they might be impacted by any expansion in the future.

Check back soon for a related survey.