Vermont Legislature

Shumlin, Senate Finance Committee At Odds Over State Sales Tax

Shumlin, Senate Finance Committee At Odds Over State Sales Tax

As the Senate Finance committee considers a proposal to include professional services under the sales tax, Gov. Peter Shumlin says he'll strongly oppose the effort.

The lawmakers' plan would also reduce the sales tax rate.

Sen. Finance chairman Tim Ashe wants lawmakers to consider making a major change in the Vermont sales tax.

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Senators Propose Taxes On Cigarettes, Health Insurance Claims To Raise Money For Medicaid

Senators Propose Taxes On Cigarettes, Health Insurance Claims To Raise Money For Medicaid

Two Vermont senators are trying to resurrect a plan to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for health care providers. And they’d use tax increases on cigarettes and health insurance claims, as well as heightened penalties on employers that don’t provide health benefits, to pay for the plan.

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With Close Vote, House Advances Paid Sick Days Bill

With Close Vote, House Advances Paid Sick Days Bill

House lawmakers late Wednesday afternoon gave preliminary approval to a bill that would require Vermont businesses to provide paid sick days to most workers. The Democrats responsible for its passage call it a labor rights victory. But Republicans say it’s the latest anti-business measure from Montpelier.

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Senate Votes To Remove Philosophical Vaccine Exemption

Senate Votes To Remove Philosophical Vaccine Exemption

The Vermont Senate has voted to end the philosophical exemption some parents use to decline to have their children vaccinated.

The legislation, which passed the Senate Wednesday in an 18-11 vote, would require the full range of required vaccinations as a pre-condition to enrolling in school.

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Senate Committee Moves Towards Financial Incentives For School District Mergers

Senate Committee Moves Towards Financial Incentives For School District Mergers

The Senate Education committee is backing a school restructuring bill that's designed to expand educational opportunities for students throughout the state. And supporters of the plan are hopeful that the legislation would also reduce property taxes.

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On Breaking Bread And Making Sausage: Checking In With Two Freshmen Lawmakers

On Breaking Bread And Making Sausage: Checking In With Two Freshmen Lawmakers

It’s been a long, busy legislative session in Montpelier, and it’s not over yet. A few months ago, we tagged along with two freshmen state lawmakers — elected just last fall — on one of their first commutes to the Capitol. Recently, we talked to them over lunch about how they’ve been working to change Montpelier — and how it's changing them.

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Senate Leaders Explore Major Changes To Vermont's Sales Tax

Senate Leaders Explore Major Changes To Vermont's Sales Tax

Senate leaders are exploring a major change to Vermont's sales tax. The goal of the plan is to give the state a more sustainable revenue base in the future.

Vermont's six percent sales tax raises roughly $230 million per year for the General Fund and another $123 million for the Education Fund. It's Vermont's second largest broad based revenue source. The personal income tax is number one.

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Campbell: Unlikely Senate Will Address Medicaid Cost Shift This Session

Campbell: Unlikely Senate Will Address Medicaid Cost Shift This Session

Senate President John Campbell says it's very unlikely that the Senate will pass one of Gov. Peter Shumlin's top legislative priorities this session: making a significant reduction in the Medicaid Cost Shift.

Campbell says the governor's plan would have a detrimental impact on Vermont's business community.

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Sears: No Major Changes In Store For Sex Offender Laws

Sears: No Major Changes In Store For Sex Offender Laws

The release of a high-risk sex offender from prison last week is again raising questions about state sex offender laws. 

Inmate Richard Laws was set free because he maxed out his sentence, even though he refused treatment in prison. There are statutes that let the state keep prisoners like that behind bars, but they were passed after Laws was sentenced. 

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A Bill To Ban Alcohol? Weed Legalization Supporters Say It Makes A Point

A Bill To Ban Alcohol? Weed Legalization Supporters Say It Makes A Point

Representatives Chris Pearson and Jean O’Sullivan introduced a bill this week to reinstate the prohibition of alcoholic beverages in Vermont, but they don’t want it to pass.

The bill, which would make possession of alcohol punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of $1 million, is the latest rhetorical flourish by lawmakers hoping to legalize marijuana in Vermont.

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