Legislative Update: 8 June 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Clarkson   
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 00:00

Having focused on the major financial challenges Vermont’s 2015 Legislative Session, I’d like to focus on the economic development bill S. 138.

Legislative Update: 1 June 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Clarkson   
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 00:00

For the last two weeks, I have begun to summarize some of the work of Vermont’s Legislative Session which ended on May 16th. Last week I addressed the FY16 budget, describing the challenge (the $113 million gap) we faced and the choices we made. You’ll recall that the gap was filled by balancing cuts, reductions and efficiencies with some new revenue. This week I’ll focus on the $31.8 million in revenue the legislature chose to help fill the $113 million budget gap. No one likes to raise new money, but this budget earned tri-partisan support in both the House and the Senate. The Legislature developed the most fiscally conservative revenue package possible so that the most severe and ill-advised budget cuts could be avoided.

Legislative Update: 26 May 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Clarkson   
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 00:00

Legislators, and all who work under the golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse, have now had a week of post session recovery. The dust has settled a bit and we are all reflecting on the unique nature of this 2015 legislative session. All sessions have their challenges, but this one proved particularly difficult – primarily because of money. For those of us who have served during the great recession of 2008, its enduring impact on our state finances is frustrating. Our revenues have been slower to improve – and our needs continue to outpace our sluggish revenues. While April’s revenue figures were encouraging, we’ll have to wait and see the next revenue forecast in July for us to bank our enthusiasm.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2015 16:05
Legislative Update: 18 May 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Clarkson   
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 00:00

The 2015 Legislative Session in Vermont came to close after 11 pm on Saturday May 16th. It was a difficult session but, despite its many challenges, productive. We began and ended with highly unusual experiences – we began having to vote for a governor and we ended with a senator being arrested on sexual assault charges. In between we managed to address our biggest challenge – filling a $113 million gap between projected revenues and spending for FY16.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2015 16:01
Legislative Update: 11 May 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Clarkson   
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 00:00

If everything goes as expected, this should be the last week of Vermont’s 2015 Legislative Session. This is the ‘end game’ as some like to refer to it – and the stakes are high. What you come to realize, is that there is someone who cares deeply about every aspect of the bills we will pass this week. All those lobbyists in the Statehouse are there because someone cares about how people, businesses, the environment, are affected by the choices the legislature makes. And this week we’ll see big and important bills debated – on child protection, education, health care, water quality, energy policy, sighting and screening solar projects, funding everything from transportation to corrections, mental health to economic development – and how to raise the money we need to fund these priorities for Vermonters.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2015 15:45
Legislative Update: 27 April 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Clarkson   
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 00:00

We are fast approaching the end of our 2015 Legislative Session.  For the past several weeks a number of important bills have been debated on the Floors of the House and Senate.  Many of these bills have taken years of work.  An example of this is the “Earned Sick Leave/Healthy Workplaces” bill (H. 187) that the House has just passed.  Two years ago this proposal did not have enough support to pass it out of Committee.  Now, after a number of changes and much compromise, this bill came out onto the Floor of the House supported by many businesses, schools, the health care community and labor alike.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2015 15:44

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Copyright 2011 Alison Clarkson