Vermont Legislature

Legislature To Conduct Independent Analysis of Health Care Costs

As Vermont heads down the path toward a single-payer health care system, lawmakers want to make sure the options are affordable for taxpayers and consumers. And the economic analysis about to be launched by the Legislature may duplicate similar work being performed for the Shumlin Administration.

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Ready Or Not, Part 5: Doing The Math

Ready Or Not, Part 5: Doing The Math

Ask any working parent: Child care can be expensive. While some low-income families qualify for subsidies, many middle-class families pay full tuition.

Between 2003 and 2012, rates have risen, on average, about 43 percent, from $140 to $200 per week. That’s one reason many public schools have started free half-day preschool programs, like the one at Lyndon Town School.

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Ready Or Not, Part 4: Teaching The Teachers

Ready Or Not, Part 4: Teaching The Teachers

Research shows that the young brain is developing at a faster rate than we previously thought, and that there are good and bad strategies to help children acquire language and the love of learning.

So Vermont’s child care providers are learning the best way to introduce books into a child’s daily routine.

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Ready Or Not, Part 3: Reaching For 'Stars'

Ready Or Not, Part 3: Reaching For 'Stars'

Beginning in 2015, every public school district in Vermont will have to subsidize at least 10 hours of pre-kindergarten per week for 3 and 4-year-olds.

Some schools do that within their own buildings. Many others partner with private providers or a local Head Start program. Springfield, for example, outsources all its preschool education.

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McClaughry: Legislative Review

The biennial legislative session adjourned a month ago, and it’s a good time to review the results.

The 2015 General Fund budget grew by 5.6% over the 2014 budget approved a year ago. That means that state spending is increasing about twice as fast as state revenues.

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Analysis: Remember The First Time Vermont Tried To Pass Single Payer?

Analysis: Remember The First Time Vermont Tried To Pass Single Payer?

An often-forgotten backdrop to the current focus on Gov. Peter Shumlin’s single-payer health care reform plan is that we have been through this exercise once already.

The first legislative effort to install a single-payer system came in January of 1991 when Sen. Cheryl Rivers, a Democrat from Stockbridge, introduced S-127, a Canadian-style single-payer plan for Vermont. Canadian style means that it would cover everybody in the state, it would be financed entirely by taxes and it would leave the delivery system – the doctors and hospitals – in the private sector.

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Vermont Enters New Era In Drug Policy With Focus On Treatment, Not Incarceration

Vermont Enters New Era In Drug Policy With Focus On Treatment, Not Incarceration

Prosecutors across the state hope to implement a new program that offers treatment and not jail to some people charged with a drug offense, under a new law signed Tuesday by Gov. Peter  Shumlin.

Vermont’s new law is patterned after a successful program that’s been in place in Chittenden County for the past four years.

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Milne Mounts GOP Gubernatorial Challenge As Slate For 2014 Elections Goes Final

For months now, the one question dominating the 2014 election cycle was, ‘Will Vermont Republicans have a candidate for governor?’

The answer finally arrived Thursday morning, when Republican Scott Milne announced his challenge to incumbent Democrat Peter Shumlin.

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Food Industry Sues To Block Vermont GMO Labeling Law

Food Industry Sues To Block Vermont GMO Labeling Law

Food industry trade groups filed suit in federal court Thursday to overturn Vermont’s first-in-the-nation law requiring labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms.

The suit says the Vermont law is unconstitutional, because it forces food companies to label their products without a compelling government interest.

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House Speaker Shap Smith To Seek Another Term

House Speaker Shap Smith To Seek Another Term

Since the close of the legislative session in May, lawmakers, lobbyists and administration officials have been awaiting word on the future plans of three-term House Speaker Shap Smith.

House leadership during the next biennium will play an outsized role on major decisions on single-payer financing and education funding reform. And with no obvious heir apparent for the speakership, uncertainty over Smith’s plans had become the biggest question mark facing the policy makers that will attempt to push through a health care financing bill that Gov. Peter Shumlin has said will be the “heaviest political lift” in state history.

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