Our Work

Public Hearing Tonight!

Challenges for Change to Impact Local and Regional Planning

Come and speak out tonight at a public hearing in the State House Chamber, Tuesday, April 6, 5 to 7 p.m. Weigh in on the Administration’s Challenges for Change Proposals and offer perspectives on how to improve outcomes in state government. The Challenges for Change proposals are a direct result of the Legislature’s charge to the Administration to develop strategies to increase efficiency and performance while trimming costs.
One aspect of the Administration’s response to Challenges for Change proposes nine Regional Service Centers to provide the services currently delivered by over 37 separate programs, all for 40% less funding. As part of the proposal, state funding for several jobs and economic development programs will be eliminated, including the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and Vermont Council on Rural Development (which has been working on statewide broadband). This is set to happen within the next two months.
The proposal also eliminates the municipal planning grants that many towns rely upon to update their town plans and bylaws. Without these grants, and with the proposed eliminations and consolidations, our towns, small businesses and citizens will have reduced services and face forgoing millions in funds leveraged through public and private grants.
State planning grants and moneys and services from regional planning commissions are often matches for much larger federal grants. This plan may result in the loss of millions of aid to towns and regions for land use planning and implementation and will seriously affect communities’ abilities to adjust their planning tools to address critical development, economical and environmental issues.
All of us working on these issues accept the challenge to strengthen systems for planning and economic development and measure success by improvements in economic health, job quality and service quality. However, without a thoughtful analysis of the programs these organizations and agencies offer, their complex governance and revenue structures and links to federal and grant funding, these changes may cause immediate and long-term impacts to the health of our economy and land use planning.
Please contact your local RPC or RDC to learn more about this proposal and how it may impact your community. Come out this evening or write a letter to your legislature.
Meeting details:
Participants will have 2 minutes to testify. A sign up sheet will be available 10 minutes prior to the hearing. Written comments may be submitted at the hearing emailed to challenges@leg.state.vt.us.
What: Challenges for Change Public Hearing
Where: House Chamber, Vermont State House
When: Tuesday, April 6, 5:00-7:00pm