Eric Davis: Multi-member districts have merits

The boundaries of the legislative districts from which Vermont’s 30 senators and 150 representatives are elected must be redrawn following each census to reflect changes in the state’s population in the preceding 10 years. Next month, the U.S. Census Bureau will release the official population of each of Vermont’s cities and towns as of the April 1, 2020, census date. The work of redistricting will then begin in earnest.The initial maps will be drawn by a Legislative Apportionment Board consisting of a chai … (read more)

Eric Davis: Vermont bound by ‘Dillon’s rule’

Last week, the Legislature overrode Gov. Scott’s vetoes of two bills that will allow non-citizens to vote in local elections in Montpelier and Winooski. Those provisions, changes to the cities’ municipal charters, had already been approved by the voters o … (read more)

Eric Davis: States eye fossil fuel divestment

Last week, the Maine Legislature passed a bill that will prohibit the state’s pension and annuity funds from making new investments in companies in the oil, gas and coal industries, and will require the funds to divest their existing holdings in fossil fu … (read more)

Eric Davis: Greenhouse gas goal is a challenge

Last September, the Vermont Legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act. Among other things, the act requires Vermont to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by specified increments over the coming years: 26% below 2005 levels by 2025, 40% below 19 … (read more)

Eric Davis: Biden considers high court options

The U.S. Supreme Court has finished hearing oral arguments for the 2020-21 term, and will issue opinions in those cases through late June or early July. The end of a Supreme Court term has become the time when justices intending to retire have announced t … (read more)

Eric Davis: Infrastructure bill faces hurdles

At the end of March, President Biden outlined the elements of his “American Jobs Plan,” a package of more than $2 trillion in federal spending over eight years on infrastructure, broadly defined. The program is intended to rebuild the economy, create mill … (read more)

Eric Davis: Constitutional amendments loom

Vermont’s constitution is the most difficult to amend of any of the states. In many states, proposed constitutional amendments may be placed on the ballot by petitions signed by voters, or after a single vote by the state legislature. There is no procedur … (read more)

Eric Davis: Bill would expand voting rights

Last week the Vermont Senate approved, and sent to the House, a bill that would establish vote-by-mail as a regular part of general elections in Vermont. If the House also approves the bill and Gov. Scott signs it, both of which are very likely, all activ … (read more)

Eric Davis: Vermonters eye federal judgeships

Appeals from the federal district courts in Vermont are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York City, which hears all federal appeals from Connecticut, New York and Vermont. Since the time Vermont native Calvi … (read more)

Eric Davis: Census will shift Senate makeup

A major item on the agenda for next year’s Vermont Legislature will be redrawing the lines for the state’s 30 Senate and 150 House seats. Later this year, the U.S. Census Bureau will provide states with detailed population counts from the 2020 census need … (read more)

Eric Davis: We’ll know Trump’s strength in two years

Gov. Phil Scott was asked at his Jan. 15 press conference whether the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 had made him question his allegiance to the Republican Party. Scott responded that the Republican Party needed to decide whether, going forwar … (read more)

Eric Davis: Will GOP let the economy run hot?

Last week, President Biden announced the outline of what he called the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion package of measures to speed up the response to COVID-19 and accelerate the pace of economic recovery. The package includes $1,400 stimulus checks … (read more)

Eric Davis: Jan. 6 attack should be probed

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed, a bill creating a special commission to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks and to make organizational and policy recommendations as a r … (read more)

Eric Davis: Vaccines and promoting vaccines

More than 5,000 Vermonters have already received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Another 21,000 doses of the vaccine have arrived in Vermont, and the supply will ramp up in the weeks ahead. The priority now is to vaccinate persons who work in health … (read more)

Eric Davis: Is the GOP teetering on the brink?

Could President Trump’s rage-tweets against Republican governors and secretaries of state who have certified a Biden victory mark the beginning of a break-up of the Republican Party into pro-Trump and mainstream conservative factions? The Republican and D … (read more)