Vermont lawmakers quietly approve $1 million for GlobalFoundries


MONTPELIER >> A panel of high-ranking lawmakers voted 3-1 on Friday morning to give $1 million to GlobalFoundries to support investments the company is making at its Essex Junction plant.

The Emergency Board, which includes the four chairs of the Legislature's money committees and Gov. Peter Shumlin as the chair, voted at a largely hush-hush meeting that started at 8:30 a.m. The Shumlin administration did not formally announce the morning meeting until Thursday afternoon, following his State of the State address.

The information in the meeting's agenda packet, which was printed on Dec. 29, was considered confidential.

The board made two major decisions on Friday — to allocate $1 million from the Enterprise Fund to GlobalFoundries, and to reaffirm its $200,000 allocation to BHS Composites of Canada. BHS Composites' name was kept secret, despite public records requests filed by VTDigger, until Shumlin publicly named them for the first time in Thursday's speech.

The $1 million from the Enterprise Fund will be allocated in two payments of $500,000 as part of GlobalFoundries' plan to invest $72 million in capital in its plant. In November, the company announced they had completed $55 million of that investment.

The board discussed the $200,000 appropriation to BHS Composites in a public meeting. When the group finished, Shumlin requested to go into an executive session, saying that discussing the GlobalFoundries deal would require them to disclose proprietary information.

Sen. Jane Kitchel, D-Caledonia, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, resisted and lawmakers did not agree to go behind closed doors.

The governor repeated past reasons for financially supporting the major Chittenden County employer and said Vermont's offer is well below the $14 million package that New York is offering to help a facility in that state.

Janet Bombardier, a representative for GlobalFoundries, then discussed the work that employees do at the former IBM plant.

Erin Mansfield covers health care and business for VTDigger. She can be contacted at Follow Erin on Twitter @erin_vt


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