An amendment that would have delayed the privatization of a branch of the Agency of Administration was narrowly defeated. Sen. Anthony Pollina called a previous attempt to privatize the division “a disaster.”
Rep. Donna Sweaney said her Government Operations Committee has a full plate this week and probably wouldn’t be able to do the bill justice. Next week the House will be on the floor every day trying to wrap up business.
The money bills will come up for a final reading on the floor Tuesday.
Supporters said the bill was better than nothing but a far cry from the original idea. And because it took so long to finalize, the House may not even have time for a vote.
The acquisition of Green Mountain Orthopedic Surgery is the latest in a string of independent practice acquisitions in central Vermont since Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin became part of the UVM Health Network.
Four of the six Senate Education Committee members were invited — or perhaps summoned — to a meeting in the office of the Senate president. When it ended, a bill affecting the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. was effectively dead.
Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington, said the bill was a “shadow of its former self,” but he and other committee members praised it as an important first step.
Tom Golonka said an examination last summer into divestment by the Vermont Pension Investment Committee found that divestment would cost the fund $10 million to $14 million per year.
The back and forth continued Thursday in the war of words between Gov. Peter Shumlin and Treasurer Beth Pearce on dumping coal and Exxon Mobil stock.
A Senate committee has not only nixed the governor’s proposed mandate, it has also opted not to pursue a nonbinding resolution. Instead, the panel will write a letter asking the treasurer to study divestment.
The budget debate can’t be limited to our “spending problem.” We need to talk about declining incomes, increased inequality and the middle class as key to economic recovery.
The totals in last Tuesday’s gubernatorial election were made official Wednesday; Gov. Shumlin finished first with 2,434 votes more than Scott Milne. The Republican candidate declined to seek a recount, but didn’t concede the race. He is still considering an appeal to the Legislature, which will formally elect the next governor since no candidate won a majority of the vote.
The GOP will have nine senators next session as Dustin Degree picked up a seat vacated by Don Collins in Franklin County and Brian Collamore won a seat in Rutland County. Incumbents Anthony Pollina and Mark MacDonald survive stiff challenges.
In 2014, a bid to divest state retirement funds from fossil fuel industries failed in the legislature. Activists plan a new push in the new year, and one state senator promises to reintroduce divestment legislation. State Treasurer Beth Pearce opposes the move, saying she prefers to have “a seat at the table” with the industry.