The idea of a common assets trust (CAT) is to hold and manage natural and collectively created assets and pay citizens a dividend from the proceeds. The proposal entered the Vermont legislature twice (in 2007-08 and in 2011-12) but did not pass.

The VCAT has continued to be discussed in academia, e.g. in this 2015 article. In June 2020 the proposal was taken up again in the context of funding a UBI. See details here.

What were the objections to the VCAT at the time?
What is the current status of the proposal?

1 Answer 1


What were the objections to the VCAT at the time?

Unknown. There were no reports nor other statements from the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, nor any public statements from representatives sponsoring the bill, nor any other statements mentioning objections, available through online searches.

What is the current status of the proposal?

The Vermont General Assembly page for the bill status is available.

H.385 An act relating to establishing a Vermont common assets trust

Last Recorded Action House 3/8/2011 - Read First Time and Referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy

An analysis of the project is available, the authors, of which, "were consulted in the writing of the bill and continue to research and analyze the VCAT."

The Vermont Common Assets Trust: An institution for sustainable, just and efficient resource allocation

The bill “proposes to make it clear that state policy is to protect certain common assets (such as air and water) for the benefit of present and future generations, and to establish a framework pursuant to which certain users of those common assets may be assessed fees that would be deposited into a common assets trust fund, which would be managed so as to protect those assets and serve the interests of present and future people of the state” (Vermont House Bill 385, 2011, p. 1). State representative Chris Pearson reintroduced the bill in 2011, and again in 2012 together with representatives Deen, Edwards, Klein, Masland, Partridge, Ram, Sharpe, Weston and Wizowaty. The bill has so far failed to progress beyond committee (the fate of most bills).

[There is no Vermont legislature link, nor other reference, to the reintroduction of the bill, by Pearson, in 2012.]

Until another bill is introduced, VCAT will make no further progress in the Vermont legislature.

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