RSSAll Entries in the "Op-ed" Category

Commentary: Managing stress under Covid-19

Commentary: Managing stress under Covid-19

By Richard W. Root II, Ed.D., ABP Twin State Psychological Services New reports about Covid-19 are becoming more widespread and can be stressful to deal with. Here are some tips to help you manage stress, put news reports in perspective and maintain a positive outlook. Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and remind […]

Op-Ed: Legislators look for ways to address crisis

Op-Ed: Legislators look for ways to address crisis

By Sen. Alison Clarkson We are all adjusting to our new COVID-19 normal. The legislature has just finished its first week working remotely on Vermont’s response to this crisis. Each committee is addressing ways to respond to the anxieties and uncertainties we are all facing. This crisis is affecting almost every aspect of our lives, […]

Op-ed: Trust in government depends on transparency

Op-ed: Trust in government depends on transparency Sunshine Week spotlights the importance of access to public information

By Jim Condos Secretary of State Trust in government is at an all-time low. As you can see playing out before our eyes in the news today, integrity is at a premium in times of crisis. Truth and transparency are necessary to effective leadership. In Vermont, we take great pride in having a government that […]

Rep. Bock: Of two important bills, Scott vetoes one, takes no action yet on the other

Rep. Bock: Of two important bills, Scott vetoes one, takes no action yet on the other

By Rep. Tom Bock On the very first day of the 2020 session, Democratic leaders renewed their pledge to continue their work to strengthen the economy and make Vermont more affordable for working families. We are feeling the pinch of a shrinking workforce and an aging population. Currently in the state, there are about 55,000 […]

Sen. Clarkson: Census matters to Vermonters

Sen. Clarkson: Census matters to Vermonters

By Sen. Alison Clarkson The Census matters. Two legislative committees were reminded last week of how important the data gleaned from it is for every state. Each decade since 1790 the U.S. Census Bureau has conducted an every household survey collecting data about our country’s people and the places they live. It is the leading […]

Rep. Pajala: Revamped Paid Family Leave flawed

Rep. Pajala: Revamped Paid Family Leave flawed

By Rep. Kelly Pajala Two weeks in and the legislative session’s fever pitch is rising. With campaigning for re-election on everyone’s mind, political optics are fueling the fires as the Paid Family Leave and Minimum Wage bills are heading back to the Vermont State House floor. Although Week 1 was filled with speeches calling for […]

Sen. Clarkson: Housing a crucial need in Vermont

Sen. Clarkson: Housing a crucial need in Vermont

By Sen. Alison Clarkson It is wonderful to get back to work at the State House. The energy around the building is positive and productive. One of the pleasures of being a legislator in Vermont is serving in a legislature where we can work together. Over 90 percent of our votes are by consensus and […]

Sharpe on Act 46: Were we hoodwinked?

Sharpe on Act 46: Were we hoodwinked? Former legislator looks at promises, realities of consolidation

By David Sharpe I am distressed by the proposals for school closings in Addison County. The legislature’s education committees took many weeks of testimony over a six-year period regarding how we move forward as a state in providing quality education for Vermont children in a way that taxpayers could afford. As the chairman of the […]

Opinion: Put education legislation in timeout

Opinion: Put education legislation in timeout

By Shawn Cunningham ©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC On Thursday, Agency of Education Secretary Dan French announced a new statewide initiative to improve reading and math skills. According to a press release, the agency will “partnering with MetaMetrics to roll out (its) … Frameworks for reading and math cost-free to all Vermont school districts.” To put […]

Bill Schubart: Incent strangers or invest in Vermonters and newcomers?

Bill Schubart: Incent strangers or invest in Vermonters and newcomers?

By Bill Schubart The Vermont State Auditor’s recent report titled Structural Weaknesses and Questionable Gains by Vermont’s Remote Worker Grant Program not only raises questions about the design and efficacy of the executive and legislative effort to attract telecommuting employees to Vermont but suggests the execution was slapdash. The $500,000 legislative commitment was designed to […]

Rep. Tom Bock: Bills passed to spur job growth

Rep. Tom Bock: Bills passed to spur job growth

By Rep. Tom Bock By the closing of the 2019 session in mid-May, the House and Senate legislators had passed 93 bills, two of which were vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott. The rest became law on July 1, 2019, including the FY2020 $6.1 billion budget. Low population growth and its impact on workforce development have […]

Op-ed: Before we build new prisons, let's fix system that fills them

Op-ed: Before we build new prisons, let’s fix system that fills them

By Bill Schubart H. 543, a funding bill to study options for building new prisons in Vermont, has both drawn ire and nonsense from those who are supposed to act on it — the House Committee on Corrections and Institutions. The ire was against the ACLU, which has long made criminal justice and mass incarceration […]

Sen. Nitka: Montpelier wrestles with clean transportation appropriations

Sen. Nitka: Montpelier wrestles with clean transportation appropriations

By Sen. Alice Nitka The budget for the VT Agency of Transportation was presented in the Senate this past week and includes everything from evidentiary blood samples to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to paving to electric charging stations to a study of “vehicle feebates.” I was startled to find out they are rebates for persons […]

Rep. Bock: Five bills to build economy, families

Rep. Bock: Five bills to build economy, families

By Rep. Tom Bock As we get closer to the end of the 2019 session in Montpelier, pressure is building to get bills through the legislature. The goal of the House and Senate veto-proof Democrat majority, (which includes me), is to get their five top priority bills through the legislative process and onto the governor’s […]

Rep. Pajala on lead in water, minimum wage hike

Rep. Pajala on lead in water, minimum wage hike

By Rep. Kelly Pajala As we approach the end of the session it may seem like committee work is winding down, but for the Human Services Committee it looks like we may not get every bill of interest to the House floor before the budget passes both chambers. This week alone we are dealing with […]

Sen. Clarkson: Constitutional issues in Montpelier

Sen. Clarkson: Constitutional issues in Montpelier

By Sen. Alison Clarkson It is not easy to amend the Vermont Constitution. It is a multi-year process, requiring review and approval in two consecutive legislative biennia and a vote by Vermonters at the end. Our constitution traces back to 1777, when it was written in Windsor at the Old Constitution House, for what was […]

Op-ed: Sen. Nitka on supporting fishing in Vermont

Op-ed: Sen. Nitka on supporting fishing in Vermont

By Sen. Alice Nitka It’s that time of year when I start looking for the hatchery stocking truck delivering fish to the Black River along Route 131 in Cavendish and Weathersfield. It’s great to see the volunteers helping put the fish into the river and then all the people fishing there over the next couple […]

Op-ed: GMP herbicide application not a green way to go

Op-ed: GMP herbicide application not a green way to go

By Beverly Lauren Beginning in the spring, Green Mountain Power will be applying herbicides under power lines and distribution lines in our area. Notification was sent out to GMP customers in previous billings. However, some may have missed the importance of the notification and tossed it in the wastebasket instead. There will be public notification […]

Tom Bock: Vetoed issues expected to return to Montpelier

Tom Bock: Vetoed issues expected to return to Montpelier

By Rep. Tom Bock It’s been more than a month since I returned to the Vermont Statehouse to serve my 2nd term in the House of Representatives. It was great to get back where the place was abuzz with activity – greeting colleagues, discussing issues, and settling in for a busy 2019 session. One of […]

Rep. Pajala on school merger, abortion bills

Rep. Pajala on school merger, abortion bills

By Rep. Kelly Pajala This week’s legislative update is a tough one, as was the week itself. The first challenge was the vote on H.39, which was about delaying the forced mergers of school districts because of Act 46. I voted in favor of the amendment put forth by Rep. Scheuermann of Stowe because, in […]