Anthony Pollina

Pollina applauds increase in local investments

Washington County State Senator Anthony Pollina is applauding the start of a new program directing up to $35 million in state funds to local economic development projects.

Stakeholders explore ways to make Vermont colleges more affordable

Woodruff Hall. Wikipedia image.

Students, educators and college officials tackle ideas to increase funding for state colleges and reduce student debt load.

Senate signs off on budget bill

Senators consider the budget bill Tuesday at the Statehouse in Montpelier. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Galbraith’s attempts to modify the governor’s $4.5 million Enterprise Investment Fund plan fall short.

Senate gives initial approval to $5.5 billion budget

Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell, D-Windsor, mediates a disagreement over whether Sen. Peter Galbraith should be allowed to reference corporate salaries in his comments on business incentives. Sen. Richard Mazza (left) speaks with Galbraith. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

The Senate version would raise General Fund spending by 3.7 percent and overall spending by 4.2 percent. It includes $28.6 million to fund retired teachers’ health care and medical benefits, and shuffles some departmental responsibilities.

Senate panel scraps bill to curb powers of part-time police

Vermont State Police cruiser

Instead of creating a multi-layered system of police authority and training, committee calls for a report detailing how such a plan would work.

Bill limiting the power of part-time police meets resistance

A Vermont State Police trooper makes a traffic stop.

Law enforcement groups speak out against proposal that would create a three-tiered system of police authority.

Senate endorses bill to allow health department to regulate toxic chemicals

Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D/W-Washington, advocated for the passage of a toxic chemicals regulation bill on Wednesday at a Statehouse news conference. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Firefighters join call to support the bill; business groups suggest the measure is too broad.

Story + video: Governor signs bill purging offensive language from state statutes

Gov. Peter Shumlin holds the 309 pages of changed in Vermont statutes during the signing of S.27 on Friday at the Statehouse.  Photo by Karen Schwartz/Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council

Respectful language bill strips outdated and offensive descriptions from Vermont’s law books, such as the word “retarded,” which appeared at least 75 times in statute.

Legislators weigh renewable energy goals against towns’ input for siting energy projects

Sungen solar farm in Sharon. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

At a Senate Democratic caucus Tuesday, lawmakers discussed a committee bill, S.191, which would require state regulators to uphold town energy plans when deciding whether to approve energy projects.

Senate gives preliminary approval to involuntary medication bill

Christina Schumacher spent 5 1/2 weeks in involuntary treatment at Fletcher Allen Health Care after her husband allegedly killed their son and himself. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

After weeks of testimony and revisions, bill is ready for final vote. Sen. Anthony Pollina, who voted against it, predicts more mentally ill patients will be medicated against their will.

Beverage distributors propose an end to bottle bill

Bobby Martino

Trade group would pay to place recycling baskets next to public trash receptacles in exchange for doing away with bottle deposit law.

Involuntary medication bill likely to reach Senate floor next week

Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell of Windsor County addresses the members on opening day. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

Proposal would expedite forced treatment for some seriously mentally ill patients even as they wait for courts to rule on involuntary commitment petitions.

Legislative preview: Business and finance issues this session include teacher pension reform, changes to current use and tax exemptions

Campaign finance reports were due to on Friday. Photo by Kevin Rawlings

On the agenda? Current use, education finance, pensions and economic development in Windham county will all be fodder for lawmakers this year.

Senate Democrats set legislative priorities

Senate Majority Leader Phil Baruth summarizes the priorities for the 2014 legislative session, as identified by caucus members Thursday. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDigger

Senators see a lot to do in 2014 session beyond solving budget deficit, examining Vermont Health Connect and improving mental health system.

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