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

Vermont needs to make higher education more affordable

Posted by Stephanie Yu on May 25, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Comments Off on Vermont needs to make higher education more affordable

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 Off on Final fiscal 2017 budget

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 Off on Senate version of the fiscal 2017 budget

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