The Shumlin Administration earlier this year promised to give lawmakers their first look at how Vermont might pay for single-payer health care. But the governor has once again opted to delay his financing timeline.
It’s been three years since Peter Shumlin vowed to deliver the nation’s first publicly financed health care system. But he has yet to show voters what taxes he’d use to raise the $2 billion or so needed to fund the program.
I am a fan of renewable energy – but I'm also a contrarian and an inveterate tilter at the windmill of conventional Vermont thinking. And in that latter capacity I have to salute the good people of Lowell for the vote they took on Town Meeting day.
As anyone who follows energy issues in Vermont knows, Lowell is the Northeast Kingdom community that hosts the Kingdom Community Wind project – an array of 21 wind turbines, each standing more than 400 feet tall atop the Lowell Mountain Ridgeline.
The U.S. House has given its strong approval to legislation that could lower flood insurance rates for hundreds of Vermont homeowners.
The proposal also eliminates the need for some homeowners to have flood insurance.
After paying out billions of dollars in claims in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the federal flood insurance program faced a $24 billion deficit in 2012. Congress that year passed legislation that dealt with this deficit in two ways.
With the shooting deaths of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Conn., still fresh on lawmakers’ minds, Linda Waite-Simpson figured the time was right last year for a debate about gun control here in Vermont.
The Essex lawmaker focused on what she thought were reasonable concessions – things like background checks on gun sales, and bringing state law in line with federal statutes. But as Waite-Simpson would quickly learn, the Vermont Statehouse is bleak territory for advocates of gun control.
On Tuesday, Burlington voters approved three resolutions that changed the city charter regarding gun laws.
They give police the power to seize guns when there is reasonable suspicion of domestic violence, ban firearms on the property of institutions where liquor is served and would require all guns to be under lock and key when not in possession of their owner.
As results on school budget votes poured in from across the state Tuesday night, local board members weren’t the only ones taking notice. Lawmakers too were keeping a close eye on voting trends. And legislators like Rep. Joey Donovan, D-Burlington, the chairwoman of the House Committee on Education, say the message was loud and clear.
“I think there’s a little bit of revolution afoot,” Donovan says. “I think people want to support kids, but they want to know they’re doing it in a real cost-effective way.”
The gun-control group that won big in Burlington on Tuesday is promising to continue its advocacy in the Legislature. But the early legislative prognosis for three proposed charter changes is looking grim.
The voters of Burlington approved three charter changes Tuesday that would institute new restrictions on firearm owners in the state’s largest city. But the changes will need sign-off from the Legislature before they can go into effect. And House Speaker Shap Smith on Wednesday said chances for that happening aren’t too promising.