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When it comes to
discussions about Vermont’s education system, the biggest focus has been the
effect on property taxes. How to finance
education has been a primary concern these past weeks and the legislature took
steps to reduce the increase in the statewide property tax that was projected
back in March. The other big issue is
the way the education system is designed, referred to as governance in legislative
parlance, and how governance affects performance and costs. House bill H.883 has been reported out of the
Education Committee to deal with this aspect, and it has become just as
controversial as the financing issue.
The Chittenden County Democrats Show on CCTV Channel 17, hosted by Bob Hooper and Rep. Mike Yantachka, featured Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross in May. Secretary Ross discussed changes in the grading of Maple Syrup, the proposed efforts to reduce the effects of agricultural practices on Lake Champlain, the growing locavore movement, and the federal Farm Bill and its implications for Vermont dairy farmers. Watch the interview here.
is the part of the legislative session that becomes the most politically contentious
and, for me, the most perplexing because we are dealing with very large sums of
money. Of the three money bills that are
must-pass in every session of the legislature, the Transportation bill, the
Miscellaneous Tax bill, and the Budget bill, the latter two were debated and
passed during this last week in March.
Now they will be considered by the Senate, probably changed, and sent
back to the House in the next couple of weeks.