Raise a glass, boys, to Janet Ancel, hardworking chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. For it was she who ignored the express wishes of the Shumlin administration and added some oversight to a program that sorely needs it.
I’m talking Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI), the
slush fund economic development program that gives public funds to private employers promising to grow their workforce. VEGI was up for renewal this year, and the administration wanted a permanent extension (or at least five years) with no strings attached.
What it got instead, thanks largely to Rep. Ancel, was a three-year extension with legislative oversight added. She also inserted a mandated “cost-benefit analysis” to determine whether VEGI is actually accomplishing what it’s supposed to. And yesterday, the full House approved an omnibus economic-development bill including her VEGI provisions. A noteworthy accomplishment, given the administration’s active resistance.
After the jump: the unprovable merit of VEGI.