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.
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.
Students, educators and college officials tackle ideas to increase funding for state colleges and reduce student debt load.
Galbraith’s attempts to modify the governor’s $4.5 million Enterprise Investment Fund plan fall short.
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.
Instead of creating a multi-layered system of police authority and training, committee calls for a report detailing how such a plan would work.
Law enforcement groups speak out against proposal that would create a three-tiered system of police authority.
Firefighters join call to support the bill; business groups suggest the measure is too broad.
Respectful language bill strips outdated and offensive descriptions from Vermont’s law books, such as the word “retarded,” which appeared at least 75 times in statute.
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.
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.