Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Gov. Peter Shumlin wants to raise $90 million in state revenues to pay for a wide ranging health care reform agenda. And while a key House committee is backing his push for new taxes, the House Committee on Health Care looks to be leaning toward a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to raise the money, not the payroll tax preferred by Shumlin.

The proposal from the House Committee on Health Care doesn’t go quite as far as Shumlin would like. And the plan would fall short of the $90 million annually in state revenue that the Democratic governor wants to generate.

While there maybe some agreement at the Statehouse on the health care policies that need to be addressed this year, there is a lot disagreement on how to pay for these programs.

Calais Rep. Janet Ancel, the chairwoman of the House Ways and Means committee, has spent a lot of time reviewing the governor's payroll tax plan. She says some committee members question if there actually is a direct link between the money that's used to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates and reductions in private health care premiums.

Burlington officials are working to strike the balance between two fundamental aspects of government: Keeping speech free and keeping government resources off the campaign trail.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP/file

Sen. Bernie Sanders recently spoke at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., about the key issues facing the country. It was also an opportunity for Sanders to outline the priorities he would pursue if he decides to run for president.

The big question is, will he run? And if he does, will he be a candidate in the democratic primary?

University of Vermont

It may seem as though social media sites like Twitter are full of griping and negativity, but it turns out this may not be entirely true.

VPR/Angela Evancie

We think of Town Meeting as a hallowed institution and a hallmark of local democracy in action, but the fact is fewer of us are participating.

Town meeting attendance continues to decline despite efforts to boost participation. 

What else can we do?

We talk with Susan Clark and Frank Bryan whose revised edition of All Those In Favor, a study of Vermont's Town Meeting tradition, has just been released.

Post your questions or comments here or email vermontedition@vpr.net.

Taking On Taxes

19 hours ago
Toby Talbot / AP

Governor Shumlin's plan to impose a small payroll tax on all businesses to boost Medicaid reimbursement rates is getting a very lukewarm reception at the Statehouse. There's also been talk of other potential revenue sources like changes in the income tax, the gas tax and the rooms and meals tax.

Two Upper Valley towns will consider consolidating elementary schools on Town Meeting Day. Tuesday, March 3, voters and Bridgewater and Pomfret will vote on combining their kindergarten through sixth grade students into a jointly operated school, using the Pomfret School building.

A list of potential budget cuts totaling about $29 million was revealed Thursday by the Shumlin administration and key lawmakers that may be used to help close a budget gap in the 2016 fiscal year that has grown larger during this legislative session.

Perhaps no one is wishing for spring to come soon more than public works officials across Vermont.

More than 26 towns all around the state have been dealing with frozen water pipes, according to an informal survey by Vermont Emergency Management.

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