A chance to talk about the child-care gap

Posted by Stephanie Yu on July 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Comments (0)

High-quality child care in Vermont is too expensive, too hard to find, too far away from too many families, and pays workers far too little. At least that’s what a new report by Let’s Grow Kids found. The supply is particularly bad for infants and toddlers. Read more

Let’s welcome new Vermonters

Posted by Stephanie Yu on June 29, 2016 at 10:33 am | Comments (0)

Welcoming refugees could solve a lot of problems worrying Vermont policy makers.

Declining enrollment in schools? Check.

Sluggish economic growth? Check.

Aging population? Check.

Stagnant population growth? Check.

Lack of diversity in many Vermont communities? Check.

A new report by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Center for American Progress confirms what many immigrant advocates have long believed: Rather than being a burden on communities, refugees contribute positively to local and state economies. Read more

2016 Con Hogan Award

Posted by Paul Cillo on June 16, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Comments (0)

There’s still time to submit a nomination for The 2016 Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial, Community Leadership.

The $15,000 annual award—to be spent however the individual winner chooses—was established in 2015. It intends to encourage and reward mid-career leaders who share Con’s vision of a better Vermont—one that places the highest value on the public good, who seize the responsibility for making that vision real, and who use data and measurement to guide their decision-making. Read more

Perception and reality about Vermont migration

Posted by Stephanie Yu on June 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm | * Comments (5)

Young people and rich people are moving to Vermont.

If this surprises you, you aren’t alone. You’re more likely to hear that the young and the wealthy are fleeing Vermont for better opportunities. Your neighbors bought a condo and moved to Florida. Read more

Vermont needs to make higher education more affordable

Posted by Stephanie Yu on May 25, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Comments (0)

A college degree can be the ticket to more job options and higher pay. And a well-educated workforce is critical to strong communities and a growing economy.

But as a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows, Vermont is one of only three states that has cut per-student public spending on higher education in each of the last two years, even as tuition at public colleges increases. Read more

Final fiscal 2017 budget

Posted by Stephanie Yu on May 19, 2016 at 9:04 am | Comments (0)

The legislature passed the final fiscal 2017 budget along with tax and fee bills raising approximately $49.0 million in new revenue.1 At $5.8 billion the new budget is $133.9 million (2.4 percent) above the current year with much of the growth going to pre-K to 12 education and human services. Read more

Senate version of the fiscal 2017 budget

Posted by Stephanie Yu on April 29, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Comments (0)

The fiscal 2017 budget made its way through the Vermont Senate this week along with tax and fee bills raising approximately $47.1 million in new revenue to support it.1 At $5.80 billion, the Senate’s version of the budget is $131.1 million above the final fiscal 2016 budget, an increase of 2.3 percent. Read more

Not-so-Equal Pay Day

Posted by Stephanie Yu on April 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm | * Comments (1)

Today is Equal Pay Day, the anti-holiday that advocates mark to remind us that women have to work almost 16 months to earn what men do in 12. The gap has persisted despite the attention and lip service paid to equality, despite women’s gains in the workplace and public sphere. Read more

Maybe we should revisit the minimum wage

Posted by Jack Hoffman on April 7, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Comments (0)

Income inequality is a serious problem in Vermont that needs to be addressed on several fronts, and paying people more for their labor, especially those at the bottom, should be part of the strategy.

Now political leaders and workers’ advocates who support a higher minimum wage may find they have some unexpected allies. Read more

House fiscal 2017 budget

Posted by Stephanie Yu on April 5, 2016 at 12:09 pm | * Comments (1)

The House passed its fiscal 2017 budget along with tax and fee bills raising approximately $49 million in new revenue to support it.1 The House budget came in at $5.81 billion, approximately $1 million above the governor’s recommendation. Overall, the House made minor changes to the governor’s spending plan. Read more