Vermont Technology Alliance Discusses Lobbying at Public Policy Event
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Posted by: Jeff Couture
In an effort to more “proactively” impact legislation, the Vermont Technology Alliance announced that it’s in the process of registering as a lobbying body.
The move was disclosed during a technology public policy discussion held Wednesday, during which VtTA outlined issues it’s watching in the upcoming legislative session. The nonprofit’s members have frequently provided testimony for legislative committees in the past during discussions related to Vermont’s technology industry. But now, the organization is looking to make more impact on legislation through lobbying efforts, said Mark Heyman, board secretary at VtTA.
“We’ll be pushing for things that we’re involved in that we think still need fixing and addressing in some way,” Heyman said.
During the upcoming session, VtTA will specifically be keeping an eye on the reemergence of a cloud tax — a levy on cloud software that VtTA is concerned will hurt Vermont’s tech economy and stifle innovation. It was proposed last legislative session as a way to fund the state’s water cleanup plan, but got cut in the Senate before the bill was passed.
VtTA is also watching a bill proposed last session that would restrict non-compete contractual agreements, which Heyman called too “punitive” and threatening to the intellectual property of budding tech companies. However, the bill hasn’t moved on from the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.
Heyman said VtTA will continue to watch any legislation that comes up this session that focuses on other priority issues for the tech community, like broadband and telecommunication development and building blockchain infrastructure.