Child nutrition key to achievement

Posted by Jack Hoffman on October 13, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Comments Off on Child nutrition key to achievement

Poverty and hunger hinder children’s opportunities to succeed in school. A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in Washington, D.C., highlights the role of the country’s largest child nutrition program in improving educational outcomes for kids from low-income households, including nearly 32,000 children in Vermont.

The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, goes by the name 3SquaresVT in Vermont. The federally funded program is available to low-income households that meet certain eligibility requirements. Benefits vary with income and family size, with the maximum benefit going to households with no net income. One out of every four children in Vermont receives benefits under 3SquaresVT, which is about the same as the national average.

Better retirement security

Posted by Jack Hoffman on October 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Comments Off on Better retirement security

The state’s economy would be stronger, and Vermonters would feel more secure financially if we all had retirement nest eggs. According to a 2012 report by the National Institute for Retirement Security, “[l]ess than half of Vermont workers participate in a retirement plan at work.” And those who have defined contribution accounts, the Institute found, the average balance is the lowest in the country—just $19,768.

Creating a publicly administered retirement program for all Vermont residents is just one of the recommendations in A Framework for Progress: Investing in Vermont’s people, infrastructure, and good government, the latest Public Assets report. In the last two years, Illinois, Oregon, Maryland, Connecticut, and California have created publicly managed retirement plans for private sector workers, and half of the states of exploring similar plans.

2016 Con Hogan Award selection

Posted by Paul Cillo on October 3, 2016 at 10:02 am | Comments Off on 2016 Con Hogan Award selection

This year’s Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial, Community Leadership will go to Michael Monte.

Monte serves as Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Champlain Housing Trust. He has more than 30 years of experience in the community and economic development field. Read more

Vermont poverty and income took a step in the right direction

Posted by Jack Hoffman on September 15, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Comments Off on Vermont poverty and income took a step in the right direction

Household income went up and poverty went down in Vermont in 2015, mirroring the improvements at the national level that the U.S. Census reported on Tuesday.

The new American Community Survey data from the Census show median household income in Vermont was $56,990 last year. After adjusting for inflation, that represented an increase of nearly $2,800, or 5.1 percent. Vermont’s median household income in 2015 was about $1,200 higher than the national median household income, but the percentage increase was the same.

Vermont Moves Closer to Health Insurance for All

Posted by Jack Hoffman on September 13, 2016 at 3:51 pm | * Comments (2)

For all of the problems and criticism swirling around the state’s health insurance exchange, Vermont is getting results where it counts. New Census data released today show Vermont tied with the District of Columbia for having the second lowest percentage of residents without health insurance. According to the Census, in 2015 just 3.8 percent of Vermonters were uninsured.

Massachusetts was ranked first, with 2.8 percent with no health care coverage. Alaska was last; 14.9 percent of residents there were uninsured last year.

Starting in the fall of 2013, people in Vermont and across the country began signing up for the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Some states, like Vermont, set up their own online exchanges for people to purchase health insurance. Other states opted to let the federal government run the exchanges.

2016 Vermont Primary Election

Posted by Stephanie Yu on August 8, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Comments Off on 2016 Vermont Primary Election

Tomorrow, August 9, is primary day. Not the presidential primary, which Vermont held on Town Meeting Day in March. It’s the other one—the primary for state offices and the General Assembly. It’s time to choose party candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, state auditor, attorney general, and all 180 Vermont House and Senate seats. Read more

A chance to talk about the child-care gap

Posted by Stephanie Yu on July 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Comments Off on A chance to talk about the child-care gap

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 Off on Let’s welcome new Vermonters

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 Off on 2016 Con Hogan Award

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