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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.
A few days before Town Meeting, I wrote a post in Front Porch
Forum explaining what factors go into how the statewide property tax which
funds K-12 public education is calculated.
In the post I stated that school budgets, and therefore spending, are
determined by local school districts, and the state's role determined by Acts
60 and 68 is to fund the budgets approved by the voters. The local school districts receive targeted
revenues which include Federal Title I money, donations, and some categorical
state aid such as Special Education, transportation, technical education, adult
education, and Essential Early Education. The amount of the budget that remains
comes from the state Education Fund.