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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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Legislative Report: Moving Vermont from austerity to prosperity

Posted on March 17, 2014 |
By Reps. Paul Ralston and Heidi Scheuermann



Over the course of the last few years, Vermont has done a relatively decent job adjusting to the economic downturn of the “great recession.” Indeed, we have shown ourselves to be adept at austerity. Now, the question is, can Vermont adapt in ways that foster economic prosperity?

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Opinion: Lawmaker is blocking changes to bottle return bill

Posted on March 17, 2014 |
By Peter Grant



If anyone is wondering why our roadsides have more litter than normal, here is a reason. When snow melts, a new crop of bottles and cans and coffee cups appears, thrown out by trashy people who don’t care about how the state looks. They don’t care that their mother doesn’t work picking up after them.

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Lawmakers lament school tax hikes

Posted on March 13, 2014 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — While the Vermont Legislature did not convene last week, lawmakers received a homework assignment doled out by area voters on Town Meeting Day: Do something about rising education property taxes.

Vermont residents voted down 35 of approximately 250 school budgets that were on communities’ town meeting dockets on March 3 and 4 — the largest number of failed spending plans since the advent of Act 68 in 2005, according to Rep. David Sharpe, D-Bristol.

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Monkton resident joins Addison-4 race

Posted on March 13, 2014 |
By John Flowers



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MONKTON — What a difference two years can make in politics.

In 2012, incumbent Reps. David Sharpe, D-Bristol, and Michael Fisher, D-Lincoln, were unopposed in their successful runs for new two-year terms representing the Addison-4 House district.

With the 2014 legislative session barely half over, two Republican candidates have already confirmed their plans to oppose Sharpe and Fisher in the two-seat district that includes Bristol, Starksboro, Lincoln and Monkton.

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Mount Abraham student joins elite page program

Posted on March 10, 2014 |
By Zach Despart



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BRISTOL — Fourteen-year-old Emily Aldrich of Bristol was looking for a front-row seat to observe the legislative process. The Mount Abraham Union Middle School eighth-grader found it when she recently was selected for the page program run by the Vermont Legislature.

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Opinion: Distracted driving costs lives

Posted on March 10, 2014 |
By Emily Joselson



This is in response to a letter from a reader who disagreed with proposed legislation, H.62, now pending in the Vermont House, titled: An Act Relating to Prohibiting the Handheld Use of a Portable Electronic Device While Driving. This reader claimed she was an experienced driver, and could easily talk on a cell phone while driving.

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Lawmakers eye changes in Vermont school financing system

Posted on March 6, 2014 |
By John Flowers



NEW HAVEN — Area lawmakers on Monday explained their latest efforts to deal with an issue on many Addison County residents’ minds during town meeting week: education property taxes, which have been escalating each year while the number of school-age children in the state has been declining.

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Editorial: Put the onus of education spending where it belongs

Posted on March 6, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Following 34 school budget defeats across the state on Town Meeting Day, the most since 2003, Gov. Peter Shumlin displayed an uncharacteristically tin ear Wednesday by suggesting school budgets woes rested in the hands of local residents.  

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Sick leave bill advances in legislature

Posted on February 20, 2014 |
By John Flowers



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BRISTOL — A bill that would require many Vermont businesses to allow their employees to accrue paid sick time is advancing in the House, where the measure has unleashed a great deal of debate about the potential impact on businesses.

That bill, H.208, was one of several topics discussed at Monday’s legislative breakfast in Bristol.

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