Public Policy

Margolis: Leading means being able to say you lost

Gov. Peter Shumlin after the GMO labeling press conference on May 8, 2014.  Photo by John Herrick

Gov. Peter Shumlin may have wasted a lot of time and money, but in the end he at least stood up and took the heat, even though the decision to move away from single payer health care wounded him and his supporters.

Report: Vermont second-healthiest state in the U.S.

For the second consecutive year, Vermont ranks as the second-healthiest state in the U.S., according to America’s Health Rankings 2014 report. The report was is based on an evaluation of four categories of health determinants including behaviors, community and environment, clinical care and policy as well as the health outcomes those determinants yield. Vermont ranked […]

Shumlin backs off single payer plan

Gov. Peter Shumlin announces that single payer health care will not go forward in the next legislative session. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Gov. Peter Shumlin’s dream of a single payer health care plan evaporated Wednesday as the administration said the state could not afford it anytime in the near future.

Vermont rivers win federal recognition

Wild and scenic rivers

The Upper Missisquoi and Trout rivers will be added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system. The designation makes towns eligible to apply for federal funding for projects along these rivers. Or, towns can choose to leave the rivers untouched.

Vermont Health Connect extends deadline for Jan. coverage

Kellie Lafaille takes Kim Kennison's blood pressure at The Health Center in Plainfield. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

A deadline to sign up with the state’s health insurance exchange expired Monday, but state officials didn’t inform the media that it was allowing people to sign up until Dec. 31 for coverage to begin Jan. 1. It did tell navigators about the extension. The intent was for people to sign up sooner rather that later, VHC said.

Second accused killer of Melissa Jenkins wants life sentence

Patricia Prue. Caledonian Record photo

This article is by Todd Wellington of The Caledonian Record, in which it was first published Dec. 16, 2014. ST. JOHNSBURY — Patricia Prue wants to plead guilty to murdering Melissa Jenkins in exchange for a life prison sentence but a judge wants her to undergo a competency evaluation first. Prue, who is scheduled to […]

Sen. Tim Ashe clarifies VPR remarks about single payer

Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, is chair of the Senate Committee on Finance. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

State Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, says universal coverage should be a goal during discussion of a publicly financed health care system next session.

Special report: Emails show Shumlin administration down to the wire on single-payer financing

Jonathan Gruber FOX

Internal memos raise questions about Gruber contract, governor’s use of executive privilege, conflicts of interest and 2017 start date.

Kenyon: A model Vermont prisoner

John Perry, who retired last year as director of planning for the Vermont Department of Corrections, said sending hard-core drug addicts directly to treatment instead of prison could save the state’s taxpayers roughly $4 million a year. StockXchng illustration.

At 19, Sam Ramsey is one of Vermont’s youngest prison inmates. Still, he is more typical of the people that Vermont locks up: He struggles with some form of mental illness.

Digger Dialogue: Watch the video from our education finance reform forum


More than 110 people came to hear six panelists talk about how to solve a vexing issue the state Legislature will be taking up in January: the rising cost of public, K-12 education at a time when student enrollment levels, particularly in rural places, continue to fall.

Report recommends fundamental changes to education spending, property tax system

House Speaker Shap Smith. VTD/Josh Larkin

A report released on Friday proposes three changes to Vermont’s property tax system. The changes include: a “renovation” plan that would lead to reductions in school spending; a “variable income tax” proposal that would replace a portion of the property tax revenues with income taxes; and a regional block grant plan that would replace Act […]

State okays Waterbury Dam with new management plan

The state has re-certified the Waterbury Dam, on the condition that the Waterbury Reservoir feeding the dam be kept at consistent summer-time water levels year round. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation issued a water quality certification for Green Mountain Power’s hydroelectric dam on Friday. The dam management plan is intended to match the natural […]

SCOV Law Blog: A question of possession

Creative Commons photo by walknboston via Flickr

Plaintiffs claimed they’d adversely possessed “several strips of land adjacent to their property: a triangular area used for parking, a small grassy knoll, and a narrow strip of land on the eastern side of the roadway leading to plaintiffs’ house.”

Federal grant to support Vermont pre-kindergarten

Preschool children at the Ira Allen School in Burlington fidget as Gov. Peter Shumlin speaks.. Photo by Tom Brown/VTDigger

State officials have announced $33 million in federal funds to provide pre-kindergarten services. The Shumlin administration is implementing universal pre-k over the next two years.

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