Tim Ashe

Smith: The political big one

The worst thing for a party, even one as strong as the Vermont Democrats, is to have working families and small businesses feel they are taking a back seat to a special interest group.

Vermont Legislature 2017: How a sleepy session turned stormy

Lawmakers, lobbyists and the media were complaining the session was boring until Gov. Scott rolled out his proposal to negotiate with teachers statewide over health care benefits.

Legislative leaders criticize Gov. Scott’s promised veto

The leaders of the Vermont House and Senate said they have directed their caucuses to get some rest. Meanwhile, the governor sought to assure Vermonters that he would not allow a government shutdown.

UPDATED: Legislative leaders say they’ve reached an impasse

Top Democrats say the House and Senate will move ahead with remaining legislation even without the governor’s support and adjourn as early as the end of the week.

Speaker introduces new teacher health insurance plan into end-of-session mix

Mitzi Johnson says her plan would address concerns about teacher benefits that are holding up adjournment. The Senate president wouldn’t comment, while unions rejected it.

House due back Wednesday, Senate TBD

Ahead of lawmakers’ return for an unbudgeted 19th week of this session, progress is slow.

Ashe plan reduces school spending by $13 million

If school districts fail to find savings in health insurance costs, they would have to cut budgets — without hurting direct instructional programs.

With no compromise in sight, Legislature to meet again next week

Lawmakers were unable to reach a deal with Gov. Phil Scott and will return to Montpelier next week to try and complete their work for this year’s legislative session.

Scott, Democrats edge closer to veto showdown

Legislative leaders united behind a new proposal on teacher health care savings while making plans to adjourn even if there’s no break in their impasse with the governor.

Gov. Scott rejects latest Democratic teacher proposal

The governor said the proposal by Sen. Tim Ashe would not maximize savings. The issue is holding up the adjournment of the Legislature.

Lots of talk, no ‘real progress’ on teacher health care deal

“We’re going to have to get creative in order to do it. I think they can,” Scott said on a day of meetings about the issue that’s blocking adjournment.

Confused about the debate over teacher health care contracts? Read this explainer

An important feature of the VEHI plans are Health Savings Accounts or Health Reimbursement Accounts that would be used to defray out of pocket costs for teachers.

Scott officials insist statewide teacher health care contract will save money

The tax commissioner said Monday that last week’s House floor debate was filled with “misinformation” about whether savings under the Scott-backed plan were real.

House Dems run amok?

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says the Statehouse should be democratic; arm twisting isn’t her style.