Anthony Pollina

Anthony Pollina: Economic recovery starts with the middle class, not budget cuts

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.

Milne won’t seek recount, but isn’t conceding the race

Republican travel agency executive Scott Milne formally launches his campaign for governor Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at the Aldrich Public Library in Barre. Photo by Anne Galloway/VTDigger

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.

Republicans gain two seats in Vermont Senate

Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington, and Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, greet voters outside Montpelier City Hall on Nov. 4, 2014. Photo by Anne Galloway

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.

Lawmakers to revisit fossil fuel divestment

Sen. Anthony Pollina, file photo by Josh Larkin.

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.

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

Castleton State College

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 in March 2014 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.

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