March 05, 2015
As we reach the mid-point of the 2015 Legislative session, there have been a number of issues discussed at the Statehouse. Among them are the $112 million dollar budget gap, education reform, Lake Champlain clean up, the
Medicaid Cost Shift, the Sugar Sweetened Beverage tax and the reopening of the state employees union contract.
March 04, 2015
Town Meeting day this year did not bring a taxpayer revolt over school budgets, yet officials say the relative quiet on the budget front does not reduce the need to make fundamental changes to school governance and to the property tax system.
March 02, 2015
This week marks the 47th year that Washington County Sen. Bill Doyle has distributed his annual Town Meeting Day survey. This year's survey includes questions about taxes, the environment and the legalization of marijuana.
In the winter of 1969, Doyle, a history professor at Johnson State College, was serving his first term in the Vermont Senate.
February 27, 2015
While there maybe some agreement at the Statehouse on the health care policies that need to be addressed this year, there is a lot disagreement on how to pay for these programs.
Calais Rep. Janet Ancel, the chairwoman of the House Ways and Means committee, has spent a lot of time reviewing the governor's payroll tax plan. She says some committee members question if there actually is a direct link between the money that's used to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates and reductions in private health care premiums.
February 27, 2015
A list of potential budget cuts totaling about $29 million was revealed Thursday by the Shumlin administration and key lawmakers that may be used to help close a budget gap in the 2016 fiscal year that has grown larger during this legislative session.
February 25, 2015
Gov. Peter Shumlin and legislative leaders say this is the year to take action to clean up Lake Champlain and other polluted waters. The sense of urgency was heightened last week when the legislature held an unusual joint assembly to hear dramatic testimony from business and environmental advocates about Lake Champlain in crisis.
February 25, 2015
Bennington Sen. Dick Sears isn’t generally known for his delicacy. When troubled by circumstance, or the person who brought it about, Sears will, from time to time, lend voice to his dissatisfaction.
And so it was on Wednesday morning, when the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee unleashed an epic verbal smack down on Ed Cutler, the president of Gun Owners of Vermont.
February 24, 2015
A bill that would make it more difficult for parents to avoid mandatory vaccinations for their children is unlikely to be debated this year. Legislative leaders say they have other, more pressing, priorities.
House Health Care Committee chairman Bill Lippert says the major focus of his panel this year is a bill that makes health care more affordable and more accessible to all Vermonters.
February 23, 2015
A central part of Gov. Peter Shumlin's plan to boost Medicaid reimbursement rates is his guarantee that the plan will reduce private health insurance premiums by 5 percent. But a top state health care official says that guarantee is anything but certain.
February 20, 2015
A bi-partisan coalition of House members is hoping to jumpstart the property tax debate at the Statehouse with a proposal that uses both a statewide property tax and a local income tax.
Backers of a new property tax plan that places a greater reliance on the income tax say their proposal creates a clear link between local spending levels and tax rates.
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