*+-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.
*+-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.