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Miller gives business a voice in state's health reform effort

Posted on April 17, 2014 |
By John Flowers



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MONTPELIER — If you’d told Otter Creek Brewing founder Lawrence Miller two decades ago that he would someday play a key role in Vermont’s effort to transition to a single-payer health care system, Miller would probably have wondered if you had consumed a little too much of his beer.

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Editorial: H.552 — House plan unravels state's pro-business efforts

Posted on April 10, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



The primary reason to phase in the minimum wage hike in Vermont from $8.73 per hour to $10.10 per hour over three years—instead of rushing to that level by Jan. 1, 2015 as House bill H-552 mandates—is so Vermont businesses can gradually adjust to the 15 percent hike in labor expenses and are not put at a disadvantage with neighboring states.

That argument, and the big-picture narrative that goes along with it, seems lost on many members of the House.

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Opinion: Shumlin skirts pipeline answers

Posted on April 2, 2014 |
By Norton Latourelle



I left the Legislative Luncheon in Middlebury on March 24 with an upset stomach. It had little to do with the great goulash and brownie meal that the American Legion provided. The trouble seemed to originate from the keynote speaker. What the press didn’t say is what the governor avoided answering. And how could they? He didn’t say anything. Sound confusing? Well that’s how I felt.

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Eric Davis: Scheuermann steps up for GOP

Posted on April 2, 2014 |
By Eric Davis



Rep. Heidi Scheuermann of Stowe told reporters last week that she is seriously considering entering the race for governor as a Republican.

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Editorial: Wage hike deserves Senate approval

Posted on March 31, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Gov. Shumlin’s call for an increase in the minimum wage hike to $10.10 an hour by 2017 is not only the right thing to do, it also makes economic sense.

No reasonable person can argue that a lower wage is good for business or the nation’s economy. The economic goal of the nation should be to create and nurture a vibrant and thriving middle class, which includes those at the lower end of the wage scale who see the merits of hard work yield a lifestyle that, at the very least, can put food on the table and shelter overhead.

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Shumlin unconvinced on school funding changes, upbeat on single-payer health care

Posted on March 26, 2014 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Gov. Peter Shumlin on Monday warned about the potential legal consequences of overhauling the state’s education finance system and expressed his priorities for a single-payer health care system that could be in place as soon as 2017.

Shumlin made his comments during an interview at the Addison Independent. The governor also appeared on Monday at a legislative luncheon at the Middlebury Legion (see related story on Page 1A) at which he was challenged on his support for the Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project.

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Shumlin addresses other issues at luncheon

Posted on March 26, 2014 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Most of the dozen or so questions Gov. Peter Shumlin fielded at the Legislative Lunch at Middlebury’s American Legion hall on Monday dealt with the proposed natural gas pipeline that would bisect the county.

But in his limited time in Middlebury the governor also briefly touched upon:

•His hope to have all New England states raise their minimum wage rates to $10.10 per hour by 2017.

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Editorial: Shumlin's bold vision shadows a weakness amid lofty goals

Posted on March 26, 2014 |
By Angelo Lynn



Gov. Peter Shumlin’s strength, as witnessed by his Monday visit to Middlebury to speak at a legislative luncheon, is the mile-high clarity through which he sees political challenges.

A corresponding weakness is that he too quickly dismisses the swamps that lie in the weeds of detail between his lofty goals. It’s a trait that transcends issues, from the natural gas pipeline, to health care reform and school governance.

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Opinion: Problem with rising school taxes in Montpelier

Posted on March 21, 2014 |
By Jay Harrington



The article “Lawmakers lament school tax hikes” (Addison Independent, March 13) made me concerned because the lawmakers didn’t see the disconnect between the school budgets’ changes and the state’s school property tax rate.

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Guest editorial: Consolidation is a first step

Posted on March 17, 2014 |
By Emerson Lynn



If nothing is done, Vermont lawmakers will approve a seven-cent increase in the statewide property tax rate, which would be the largest increase ever imposed to fund our schools.

That’s not likely. The governor has promised the increase would be less. The House Ways and Means Committee has already proposed a plan that would cut the increase to five cents.

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