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Debating The Pros And Cons Of A Citizen Legislature

02/06/12 12:00PM By Jane Lindholm
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AP/Toby Talbot
House Speaker Shap Smith addresses the House in early January. Since its earliest days, Vermont has had a part time citizen legislature.

Having a part-time citizen legislature - rather than a full time professional one - is one of the hallmarks of Vermont politics and culture. We look at the pros and cons of having citizen lawmakers - and how it affects the atmosphere at the Statehouse, how things get done, and who runs for office - with Bert Johnson, an associate professor of political science at Middlebury, Scott MacKay, a political analyst for Rhode Island Public Radio in Providence and a former political reporter for the Burlington Free Press and Providence Journal, and representatives Don Turner of Milton and Kesha Ram of Burlington.

Also on the program, when State Auditor Tom Salmon released a report saying that the town of Milton owed the state $3.4 million dollars in back taxes, town officials were horrified. They responded by saying that the report was flawed, the auditor had misinterpreted statutes, and that they didn't intend to pay the state an extra cent. We talk to Milton Independent reporter and editor Courtney Lamdin, who has been reporting on this issue, for more details.

Tags

vermont_state_legislature, legislature, government, politics, don_turner, kesha_ram, bert_johnson, scott_mackay, milton, money, courtney_lamdin, tif politics
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