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Senate budget package looks to teachers’ retirement

The budget passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee includes increases for state colleges, childcare and more.

 

UPDATED: Arrest made in South Burlington threat case

South Burlington Middle & High Schools
Threats via email and social media have targeted five teachers and 11 students. Police say they have received numerous tips and are seeking information from the public.

 

House approves “gender-free” public bathrooms; Senate unlikely to act

Gender neutral restroom
The bill is a backlash to actions by President Donald Trump and laws in other states regulating which bathrooms transgender people should use.

 

Vermont lawmakers weigh in on federal farm bill

Robb family, maple
Lawmakers heard concerns from farmers about unpredictable milk prices and from public officials about the possibility of deep cuts to the federal food assistance program, SNAP.

 

Planning group approves Bennington-Windham joint economic development efforts

Officials are seeking to create a comprehensive two-county strategy to enhance development efforts and the promotion of the entire 44-town southern Vermont region

 

Dieng seeks to be second ‘New American’ on Burlington City Council

Ali Dieng, raised in Senegal, is one of three Democrats seeking a city council seat vacated by Tom Ayers. Former Republican City Councilor Vince Dober is also running for the New North End post in a special election in June.

 

Senate OKs marijuana legalization amendment

marijuana
The amendment, which passed on a vote of 21 to 9, would create a taxed and regulated system for marijuana sales.

 

YWP: ‘We Don’t Care’

YWP Lonna Neidig
This week's Young Writers Project entry is "We Don't Care" by Lonna Neidig of St. Albans.

 

SCOV Law: Defendant argues delay in bringing charges violates due process

Gavel
A sexual assault investigation by the Department for Children and Families and turned over to a state's attorney was not reactivated until the alleged victim's mother inquired about its status three years later.

 

Vermont NEA: Scott’s statewide health contract is ‘out of Trump’s anti-union playbook’

Phil Scott
In a last ditch effort to find Education Fund savings this year, the Scott administration and school boards proposed a statewide health insurance plan for teachers. The union rejected the proposal, as did House and Senate leadership.

 

Court OKs proposed $150M settlement with Raymond James

U.S. Federal Court South Florida District
Miami federal court Judge Darrin Gayles gave preliminary approval to the settlement. If no one objects to the terms, the agreement will move forward.

 

Newport, Derby residents bring Welch wish list

Peter Welch
Infrastructure, ‘hole’ in the ground top priorities for federal support.

 

House committee puts own spin on Act 46 flexibility

House Education
The panel accommodated requests from more than 30 House members to add more language from H.15, a bill once described as offering so much flexibility as to gut the intent of Act 46.

 

Senate approves racial justice oversight board bill

Jeanette White
“This is not aimed at law enforcement alone, but recognizes issues present in the entire system,” said Sen. Jeanette White. The House addressed similar concerns via two other bills.

 

Hospitals ordered to lower future growth in prices by $15 million

hospital
The Green Mountain Care Board voted to have hospitals use half of any unexpected profits they made in fiscal year 2016 to offset price increases.

 

Special Reports and Projects

DC reporting: The latest on the Trump effect on Vermont

Follow news about the impact of the Trump administration’s policies on Vermont and keep tabs on Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Patrick Leah, D-Vt., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt.

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Lessons from Colorado: A pot legalization market grows overnight

With Vermont considering legalization, VTDigger examines the pitfalls and successes of the retail pot market in Colorado.

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VTDigger's 2017 legislative coverage

Find all of our coverage on important legislation and oversight issues on this microsite, and follow stories about bills listed by topic — education, energy, judiciary, the economy, health care, and the budget.

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Eyes on the Border

Authorities acknowledge that despite round-the-clock patrols and an advanced network of surveillance technology, they can’t be certain how much criminal activity occurs along the border.

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Maple Leaf Treatment Center closes

The opiate treatment facility closed in January after multiple state investigations into allegations of Medicaid fraud, inadequate patient care and a hostile work environment.

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Suspicion in a small town: A town clerk is accused of mishandling money

The Coventry Selectboard is suing town clerk Cynthia Diaz who is accused of embezzling $1.4 million. She says it’s “a smear campaign.”

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EB-5 fraud at Vermont's Jay Peak

Read about the latest developments. Check out the investigative stories VTDigger has published about Jay Peak, Q Burke and AnC Bio Vermont over the past several years.

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Quote of the Day

“I’m optimistic that we will come up with some strategies that could ultimately result in a project. With that said, we’re not miracle workers. I don’t think we’re going to be able to wave a magic wand and have a building sprout out of the ground next year or the year after.” — David White, of Burke + White Real Estate Investment Advisors, which has been hired by Newport to come up with ideas for a block left empty after developers were charged with EB-5 investor fraud

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