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Rep. David Sharpe to head education committee

Posted on January 8, 2015 |
By John Flowers



Sharpe.jpg

BRISTOL — Addison County will have an important seat at the table when the Vermont Legislature gets to work this month on education finance reform, tabbed by many lawmakers as the top priority for the 2015 session.

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith has picked Rep. Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol, to chair the House Education Committee, a panel that will clearly play a big role in devising and advancing any bills aimed at changing the manner in which the state’s public schools are financed.

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Legislators to decide governor's race this week

Posted on January 5, 2015 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — A majority of Addison County’s lawmakers said they will vote in favor of incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin over Republican Scott Milne when the Vermont General Assembly decides the matter on this Thursday.

Per the state Constitution, the General Assembly must decide the contest by ballot when it convenes Jan. 8 because neither Shumlin nor Milne garnered more than 50 percent of the votes cast back on Nov. 4.

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Guest editorial: Vt. needs to fix school funding; start by changing governance

Posted on January 5, 2015 |
By Emerson Lynn



Speaker of the House Shap Smith has spent the past couple of weeks asking Vermonters for their ideas on how the state can reduce property taxes and still maintain a high quality educational system.

He should be careful for what he asks.

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Eric Davis: Health care decision no surprise

Posted on December 23, 2014 |
By Eric L. Davis



Gov. Shumlin announced last Wednesday that “it is not the right time” to introduce a single-payer health care system in Vermont. He said he would not propose such a plan to the Legislature in 2015.

A version of a financing plan for single-payer that was leaked to the press earlier this month received a strongly negative reaction, so the governor’s decision to abandon further action is not a surprise.

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Lt. governor outlines his priorities for 2015

Posted on December 15, 2014 |
By John Flowers



ChiefsMeeting4943.jpg

MIDDLEBURY — Vermont Lt. Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday warned that the 2015 legislative session will be dominated by tough financial decisions and he sees little opportunity for debate on such issues as the legalization of marijuana.

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Middlebury asks state reps for school tax reform and Rt. 7 rotary

Posted on December 11, 2014 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday gave its legislative delegation a brief but sharply worded wish list for the 2015 session: Give us a rotary at the intersection of Route 7 and Exchange Street, along with education finance reform.

The board conveyed that message to the four Democratic lawmakers taking part in the meeting: Sen. Christopher Bray of New Haven, Sen. Claire Ayer of Addison, Rep. Betty Nuovo of Middlebury, and Rep.-elect Amy Sheldon of Middlebury.

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Eric Davis: Education funding debate looming

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Eric L Davis



House Speaker Shap Smith recently said that the Legislature’s highest priority in the 2015 session should be changing Vermont’s system of financing and governing K-12 education. Smith noted that the large number of school budgets rejected last spring, and the concern about high and rising property taxes demonstrated by the November election results, mean that the Legislature must address the education issue soon.

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Opinion: Vermont PSB snubs local concerns on solar projects

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Alex D. Tokewell



It is time for a statewide moratorium on multi-user solar generating installations in Vermont.

Outrageous, totalitarian, heavy-handed, biased, heartless, corrupt. These are but a few of the adjectives that might be used to describe the behavior of the Public Service Board in response to challenges by towns in Vermont to over 35 multi-user solar renewable energy projects proposed by developers over the last 8 months.

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Editorial: How to keep school taxes lower via local control

Posted on December 4, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Want to know how to keep property taxes for school spending down and avoid the projected two-cent hike recently projected by state officials?

In theory, it’s not that hard: just keep local spending per pupil the same as last year.

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Greg Dennis: The governor and ungrateful liberals

Posted on December 3, 2014 |
By Gregory Dennis



Midway between the November elections and the start of the Vermont legislative hunting season, the question on most political observers’ minds is this: Will Gov. Shumlin get his groove back?

On the answer to that question hangs the fate of liberals’ hopes for statewide action on healthcare reform, climate change and property tax relief.

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