State

State cellphone audit uncovers waste

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State Auditor reveals underutilized phones and inconsistent, decentralized policies wasted $300,000 in 2012.

Campaign for Vermont recommends government transparency initiatives

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“I believe that transparency in our government is the single most important issue that we have to offer you,” said Bruce Lisman, founder of Campaign for Vermont.

Six new Senate chairs appointed

State Senator and Burlington mayoral candidate Tim Ashe. Courtesy photo.

Democrat/Progressive Tim Ashe, D-Burlington, won the coveted Finance chair, replacing Washington Democrat Ann Cummings, who lost in a bid to unseat Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell late last year, and who voluntarily left her chairmanship.

Migrant worker driver’s licenses recommended by study group

Members of Vermont Migrant Justice gather between testimony before a Statehouse study committee on Wednesday. VTD Photo/Nat Rudarakanchana

Only Sen. Peg Flory objected to standard driver’s licenses for migrant workers, licenses identical to those used by most Vermonters.

Smith poised to take helm of House for third time; Shumlin tells Dems to “focus like a laser” on health care implementation

House Speaker Shap Smith. VTD/Josh Larkin

Smith told the Democratic caucus that Vermont must address climate change.

Campbell says he’s learned from his rookie mistakes; With three contenders for pro tem, Senate caucus will likely be rocky

Senate President Pro-Tem John Campbell. VTD/Josh Larkin

He reached out in a “coming to Jesus moment” to several committee chairs who took a hard look at his deficiencies as the Senate’s leader.

Independent candidate unveils direct democracy experiment

Candidate Jeremy Hansen in a portrait. Courtesy of Jeremy Hansen

Hansen pledges, if elected, to make policy decisions solely based on his constituents’ online input.

The great furniture give away: State disposes of 600 tons, 50 years worth

Gov. Peter Shumlin and Michael Obuchowski, commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services in Waterbury. Photo by Taylor Dobbs

With new plans for the office space and a high storage cost for the old furniture, the commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services said it just didn’t make sense to hold onto it.

Rebuffing the opacity charge

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Spaulding crashes Brock presser, spars with GOP candidate over “transparency.”

UPDATED: FEMA balks at price tag for Irene damage to state property

Buildings at the Waterbury State Office complex. Photo by Don Shall.

Read more details about FEMA’s response and how delays and changes in FEMA’s approach will affect the state’s plans.

Shumlin’s Irene update: Much work still to do and finances to settle

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Shumlin cited the latest figures that estimate the total spending on damage could reach nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.

Commissioner says new community mental health system is “becoming a cohesive whole”

Mental Health commissioner Patrick Flood testifying before the House Human Services Committee Thursday. VTD/Andrew Nemethy

According to Flood, the mental health treatment system remains stressed and full with between 230 and 240 patients under his custody.

Fresh criticisms of Vermont State Police response emerge as search and rescue bill is enacted

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A police report confirms that the decision not to search until the next day had been made before the officer was briefed and had completed a Search Urgency form.

Redistricting compromise in the works?

Rep. Ronald Hubert. VTD/Josh Larkin

Rep. Ron Hubert is floating a proposal (a.k.a. Option 7) that would divide up Chittenden County into two, three-member districts.

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