On opening day of the 2016 legislative session, House Speaker Shap Smith had this advice for his colleagues: “There will be those who suggest that because this is an election year, that we will focus on politics rather than the people’s business. Read more
New evidence finds that public investments that help build a skilled workforce and improve the quality of life for local residents are more likely to create jobs and build a strong economy than tax cuts and attempts to lure businesses with financial incentives. Read more
Governor Shumlin will present his fiscal 2017 budget to the Legislature on Thursday, January 21 at 2:00 PM. Here are a few of the things we’ll be looking for.
1. How well does the state budget meet the needs of Vermonters and advance their economic well-being? Read more
The Vermont General Assembly has a chance this week to walk back from the destructive changes it made last spring to the state’s education funding system. The Senate appears poised to vote to repeal the tax penalties that will hit school districts that exceed arbitrary spending limits set by the Legislature. Read more
The Vermont Legislature has an opportunity to show respect to local voters and local school officials by getting two things done before the end of January:Repeal the rigid spending limits that threaten to unnecessarily increase property taxes this year. Set the education tax yields for fiscal 2017 so that voters will know the tax consequences of their school budgets on Town Meeting Day. Read more
Are you feeling a little tense as you anticipate time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving dinner table?
Is it something more than the new turkey recipe that’s making you anxious?
Are you worried that when the conversation turns to politics and the economy you won’t have the facts at your command? Read more
The Shumlin Administration will hold two public budget forums via webinar on Monday, November 23, 2015.
For details about how to participate, go to: http://finance.vermont.gov/Event/publicbudgetforums. Citizens can also weigh in on the budget process through an online survey. These are new strategies for gathering public input and we hope they will allow more Vermonters to participate. Read more
Vermont has a budget problem: the state budget is not meeting Vermont’s needs.
The major indicators of Vermonters’ economic wellbeing are moving in the wrong direction. Median household income is falling, poverty and homelessness are rising, and one in eight Vermonters needs food stamps to have enough to eat. Read more
The need for a more open and transparent budget process became clear last week with the news that the state is on the hook for an extra $18 million in Medicaid payments this year. The payments weren’t factored in last spring when the administration and the Legislature put together the state budget, so now policymakers are scrambling to come up with the money. Read more
In 1973, as a UVM student, I had the opportunity to be a University Year for Action intern—similar to AmeriCorps—at the Vermont Department of Corrections. The experience changed my life. And Con Hogan, who was Deputy Commissioner, was a big reason it did. Read more