Vermont legislature

VTDigger/Castleton poll: 49 percent of Vermonters approve of governor’s job performance

Approval

Respondents gave the Vermont Legislature an approval rating of 44 percent.

Lawmakers hold brief ‘lessons learned’ hearing on health care exchange

Rep. Mike Fisher, D-Lincoln, chairman of the House Health Care Committee, hears testimony at the Statehouse in Montpelier. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

Despite huge state and federal investments in the exchange website and a call center to handle interactions with the public, the system still has significant problems.

Consultant’s memo stirs single-payer controversy

Health care consultant Ken Thorpe addressed lawmakers Tuesday in Montpelier. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

Lawmakers rejected the notion that Ken Thorpe’s three-page memo is a Plan B for single payer.

House freezes school privatization debate

Unless the bill is revived, neither ​a proposed two-year moratorium nor study will take effect.

Senate passes GMO labeling bill

The Vermont Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to legislation that will require manufacturers to label foods with genetically engineered raw ingredients.

Diluted water cleanup bill gets preliminary approval in House

The Vilas Bridge over Bellows Falls gorge. Photo by Chris Bertelsen/Brattleboro Reformer

Environmentalists say the plan is too weak because it does not include money or regulatory authority to back up the proposed programs.

Bob Helm: Good public policy comes from sharing ideas

The American Legislative Exchange Council provides a forum where legislators, business leaders and policy experts can come together to share ideas about state policy from a limited government, free market perspective.

John McClaughry: When imagination fails, raise school property taxes

The Legislature is raising the two school property tax rates, and trying to find some new brake shoes to slow down local spenders without hammering them over the head with state spending restraint mandates.

Poor Elijah’s Almanack: The fruit of arrogance

I’m tired of empty rhetoric masking decisions that every day impede efforts to improve our schools by the people who are actually in our schools. I’m tired of leaders who mouth and swallow empty words.

Shumlin announces $4.5M cash incentive program to retain and attract businesses

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced two economic development initiatives Monday, April 14, 2014. VTDigger image from video

Shumlin said the fund will give the state more flexibility and discretion in its negotiations with current and prospective businesses.

CCTV listing: Vermont budget, school district consolidation & water quality

CCTV listing: Vermont budget, school district consolidation & water quality

House lawmakers look to take on prescription drug companies in push for transparency

Prescription drugs. Photo by Alissa Walker

The proposal would require pharmacy benefits managers to report an aggregate dollar amount they pocket for all claims to health insurers.

Senate and House tussle over lake shore development rules

Lake Champlain’s frosty shoreline in Charlotte. Photo by John Herrick/VTDiger

Environmental groups and Agency of Natural Resources officials support the Senate bill. State officials who have helped to shape the Senate version say weakening the legislation at this point will undermine the agency’s implementation efforts.

Adjournment is about a month away, lawmakers say

The commission appointed by Gov. Mortimer Proctor that decided to remove the Civil War tintype portraits lining the corridor opposite the front door of the Statehouse chose to install in their place quotations that conveyed Vermont's character and ideals. Larkin Mead, raised in Brattleboro, completed this sculpture of martyred President Abraham Lincoln as a study for a larger work. Mead's widow donated the bust to the state in 1910. It formed a perfect focal point for the new Hall of Inscriptions. Photo by Nancy Graff

Though there is a lot of unfinished business at hand, House Speaker Shap Smith says there are no lightning rod issues that threaten to push the Legislature into an 18th week.

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