Eve Frankel: Spending caps won’t keep a lid on costs

The proposed spending caps are a political fix that do not address the real issues of cost drivers such as health care, unfunded mandates like universal pre-K, and a flat economy.

Renée Carpenter: About Vermont exceptionalism

Do I think children should be protected? Of course. Will S.9 actually do what “well meaning” and hard-working citizen legislators intend? Doubtful.

Noelle MacKay: Plan today for tomorrow’s flood

The Vermont Economic Resiliency Initiative is helping cities and towns analyze local flood risks and identify projects to help speed recovery in the event of a flood.

John Fairbanks: A martyr, a Sunday School teacher, and a conversion

Soon after the Selma to Montgomery March, on March 28, 1965, a Sunday school teacher’s question had a profound impact.

Bob Stannard: Victory or defeat?

Of the 7 billion people living on this planet, we can probably count on one hand how many of them get along. For the most part we are a divided world.

Peter Burmeister: A better use for Vermont’s money

Why are we being so generous with our scant resources, to the benefit of an oil-rich Arab nation that has already received what amounts to an enormous gift from IBM?

Mark Whitworth: The RESET Program will save $275M? Not so fast

The administration’s analysis of RESET is a collection of spreadsheet models that calculate RESET’s impacts upon rates, greenhouse gas emissions, and electricity consumption. The models are fragile.

Nicole Mace: Ending teacher strikes and contract imposition a positive step

H.76 as amended avoids the significant downsides to binding arbitration and creates a pathway forward that is in line with the proven practice in place in many other states.

Rob Roper: Forced consolidation vs. going independent

But, communities do have an option to keep their local schools as well as local control over them: Going independent.

Nadine Canter Barnicle: Vermont must evolve its definition of scenic beauty

Yes, we can see those solar farms and wind turbines on our farmlands and hillsides. And, yes, for a moment they can arrest our aesthetic sensibility.

Poor Elijah’s Almanack: The perils of school consolidation

Concentrating power in the hands of bureaucrats, superintendents and minions doesn’t foster equity or quality. All it promotes is inappropriately uniform, one-size-fits-all regulations and policies.

Peter Sterling: Listen to health professionals – not economists – on obesity and sugary drinks

When Mr. Woolf questions, “How fair is a soda tax,” I think the more accurate question is how fair is it without one?

Art Woolf: How fair is a soda tax?

Is two cents a lot of money? Most of us wouldn’t bother to stop and pick up two pennies we saw lying on the sidewalk. Does that mean that the Vermont Legislature’s proposed two cent per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages is not a big deal?

David Coates: State pension and retiree health care underfunding problem worsens

Woolf chart

What is the state to do when faced with these overwhelming liabilities that exceed twice the general fund revenues?

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