With 25 percent more Vermonters living in poverty than in the early 2000s, median household income stagnant, and high-quality child care still not affordable or even available to many Vermont families, the state’s elected officials need to focus on addressing these and other foundational issues in the next biennium. To move Vermont forward, policy makers need to zero in on three fundamental initiatives:

• Make work pay and ensure that all Vermonters can meet basic needs.

• Make smart, evidence-based investments in programs and infrastructure.

• Make state government more effective by increasing public engagement, fairness, and transparency.

Vermont’s labor force grew for the first six months of the year but has shrunk since June, for a net gain of almost 1,200 people in 2018. It’s a familiar pattern, but largely a downward one: About 15,000 fewer Vermonters are working or actively seeking jobs now than at the peak in April 2009. Based on annual data, Vermont is one of only a dozen states where the workforce was smaller in 2017 than it was before the recession.

MONTPELIER – Dr. Julie Lowell has joined Public Assets Institute’s staff as a Policy Analyst.

“We’re delighted to welcome Julie to Public Assets. Her academic research and direct social-service work in Vermont make her a great addition to our staff,” Public Assets president and founder Paul Cillo said Monday.

Lowell came to Public Assets after working at Vermont Works for Women for four years, as both a program evaluator and a direct service provider. She has worked directly with survivors of domestic violence, families experiencing homelessness, and women exiting correctional settings, informing her advocacy at the state level to positively impact policy for individuals living in poverty.

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