Vermont’s economy grew 2.8 percent, after adjusting for inflation, in 2022—the second year of growth after a drop in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the end of March show that Vermont’s gross state product—the total value of all goods and services—saw the highest growth rate in New England.

In 2022 Vermont’s gross state product also surpassed $40 billion for the first time, a rise from 2021 of more than $3.5 billion in unadjusted dollars.

Expansion of Vermont’s childcare subsidy program with an infusion of $120 million in new revenue will be a signal achievement of the 2023 legislative session if it survives a gubernatorial veto. There is more to be done, but this will be transformative for Vermont. Not just for families currently using paid childcare and any family thinking about having a kid or another kid, going back to work, or moving to Vermont, but for the well-being of all our kids. That means a better state for all of us.

Unfortunately, in the rush to adjournment, public debate about how to fund childcare expansion got short shrift. Yes, there were headlines about an impasse between the Senate and the House. The Senate wanted to levy a new payroll tax; the House wanted to increase personal and corporate income taxes. But the Senate threatened to scuttle the reform effort if it didn’t get its way, so there was no public debate and Vermonters never got a chance to weigh in on how they wanted to pay for improving the state’s child care system.

Nominations for 2023 award close on June 29; the winner to receive $15,000 Cash Prize

In 2022, Joe Wiah was honored with the Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial, Community Leadership. The director of the Ethiopian Community Development Council’s (ECDC) Multicultural Community Center in Brattleboro, Wiah is helping refugees integrate into community life in Southern Vermont. In a recent interview, he talked about his work and what receiving the award meant to him both personally and professionally.



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