• Hundreds protest against death of George Floyd in Burlington and Montpelier

    Hundreds protest against death of George Floyd in Burlington and Montpelier
    Demonstrators march on the Burlington Police Department after gathering at Battery Park in Burlington to protest the deaths of George Floyd and other people of color at the hands of police on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerThis story will be updated.Hundreds of Vermonters rallied in Burlington and Montpelier Saturday
    as protests against police brutality erupted across the country in the wake of
    the death of a black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis.In Burlington,
  • Final Reading: Vermont blowing through its $1.25 billion check

    Final Reading: Vermont  blowing through its $1.25 billion check
    IN MAY 29’S FINAL READING:— In a Senate committee chairs meeting, lawmakers expressed angst over how to organize the allocation of the remaining Coronavirus Relief Fund money. Sen. Jane Kitchel, D-Caledonia, warned that the state is running out of money in the fund to prop up industry bailouts. “We don’t have money for a $300 million package,” she said, referring to the bailout the Scott administration has proposed for Vermont hospitals. “Or we&rsquo
  • Democratic gubernatorial candidates find little disagreement during debate

    Democratic gubernatorial candidates find little disagreement during debate
    Former education secretary Rebecca Holcombe, attorney Patrick Winburn and Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman are Democratic candidates for governor.There was very little distance on display between the Democrats running for governor. 
    During a Zoom forum Friday night hosted by Rights & Democracy, a social justice organization, all three Democratic gubernatorial candidates voiced support for a minimum wage increase and statewide paid family leave program, climate change policies, stabilizing the s
  • Covid-19 Roundup: 1 new case; DMV to open with license, permit tests first

    Covid-19 Roundup: 1 new case; DMV to open with license, permit tests first
    Homemade signs put up along a roadside in Rochester thank frontline workers during the Covid-19 crisis. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger📈 Get the latest statistics and live updates on our coronavirus page.
    📫 Sign up for our coronavirus email list.
    🗣️ Tell us your story or give feedback at [email protected]
    ❓ Get answers to FAQs in our Covid-19 knowledge base.
    🛒 See what’s open near you in our business directory.
    🙏 Support our
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  • Vermont Racial Justice Alliance: Provide protection, relief to people of color

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by the Steering Committee of the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and was sent as a letter to Gov. Phil Scott, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and legislators.
    Mr. Governor et. al,
    Your efforts in bridging the gap in what is arguably the worst Vermont crises in state history are appreciated. We fear that there are some of us that are being left behind. Pre-Covid-19, African Americans had an unemployment rate twice that of whites. Further, the median wealth of whit
  • Bob Stannard: To mask or not to mask

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bob Stannard, an author, musician and former lobbyist. This piece first appeared in the Bennington Banner.During the past five and half years or so that we’ve been locked down from one of the worst pandemics of our lifetime we’ve learned a lot. The first thing we’ve learned is that time is much more elastic than we thought. Morphing from a life of structure, patterns and activities to one of, well, none of these things changed our perc
  • Walt Amses: The edge of summer

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Walt Amses, a writer who lives in North Calais.
    As the loon and I stare each other down, I note that his eyes look like he’s been snorting crystal meth, presumably to remain alert for the ever circling eagle, who’s got his own eyes focused on the possibility of a delicious loon-chick-filet, in a moment of parental distraction. His penetrating gaze follows me paddling silently away. Only when he’s certain I’m not much of a threat
  • A dive into Vermont’s out-of-stater Covid-19 case numbers

    A dive into Vermont’s out-of-stater Covid-19 case numbers
    Vermont Department of Health employees collect patient samples at a pop-up Covid-19 testing site in Barre on May 19, 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerVTDigger posts regular coronavirus updates on this page. You can also subscribe here for daily coronavirus news. Please send your Covid-19 questions to [email protected] Beaulieu is a Massachusetts resident who has come to Vermont on weekends to work on her family home. She’s aware of the rumors that out-of-st
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  • Gov. Scott won’t guarantee he’ll debate Republican opponents

    Gov. Scott won’t guarantee he’ll debate Republican opponents
    Gov. Phil Scott listens to an update on the state’s Covid-19 modeling during a press briefing on Friday. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerGov. Phil Scott won’t guarantee he will participate in a debate with his Republican challengers ahead of the August primary, and said whether he takes part will depend on the state of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
    When Scott announced he was running for a third term on Thursday, he said he wouldn’t hire staff, fundraise, or participate in campa
  • Burlington cancels July 3 fireworks, outlines student quarantine plan 

    Burlington cancels July 3 fireworks, outlines student quarantine plan 
    Burlington’s annual July 3 fireworks celebration has been canceled because of state restrictions on large gatherings. Parks and Recreation Department photoBurlington will be canceling its traditional July 3 fireworks display to prevent large crowds in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus as the city starts to reopen. 
    Mayor Miro Weinberger said Friday the city was calling off all events at Waterfront Park until the end August, including the July 3 fireworks.
    “We jus
  • Official recommends $42,500 fine for Vermont Gas over blasting

    Official recommends $42,500 fine for Vermont Gas over blasting
    Michael Tousley, hearing officer for the Public Utility Commission, listens to testimony about the Vermont Gas pipeline. Photo by Mike Polhamus/VTDiggerA Public Utility Commission official has proposed that Vermont Gas pay $42,500 for failing to comply with its blasting plan for the Addison County pipeline. 
    Michael Tousley, the hearing officer for an ongoing investigation into the utility’s pipeline blasting, recommended the commission fine the utility for inadequately notifying Monk
  • The Deeper Dig: The hunger problem ahead

    The Deeper Dig: The hunger problem ahead
    Tina Doan, left, and Lakshmi Courcy prepare free hot and cold meals for distribution by the Burlington School District at Burlington High School on May 20, 2020. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerThe Deeper Dig is a weekly podcast from the VTDigger newsroom. Listen below, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
    Images of miles-long lines of cars waiting hours to receive free food have become powerful symbols of the economic
  • SCOV Law Blog: Drug conviction appeal argues ‘reasonable suspicion’ lacking

    SCOV Law Blog: Drug conviction appeal argues ‘reasonable suspicion’ lacking
    Editor’s note: This piece from the SCOV Law Blog is by SCOV Law editor Andrew Delaney.State v. Tetreault, 2017 VT 119
    It was a dark and stormy night.
    Well, actually, it was around 10 in the morning.
    Philip Tetreault got pulled over for doing 80 on the highway near our southern border. The trooper who made the stop testified that the driver stopped abruptly and the reverse lights flashed on. Then the driver’s head disappeared from view at least twice as the trooper was approaching the
  • Summer residential camp guidelines could show path to letting tourists back in

    Summer residential camp guidelines could show path to letting tourists back in
    Gov. Phil Scott updated reporters on Friday about efforts to reopen the economy. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerVTDigger posts regular coronavirus updates on this page. You can also subscribe here for daily coronavirus news. Please send your Covid-19 questions to [email protected] of indoor fitness centers and nail salons will be getting back to work June 1 as Gov. Phil Scott opens more sectors of the economy. The governor also increased the limits on social
  • Sleepover camp guidelines could show path to letting tourists back in

    Sleepover camp guidelines could show path to letting tourists back in
    Gov. Phil Scott updated reporters on Friday about efforts to reopen the economy. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerVTDigger posts regular coronavirus updates on this page. You can also subscribe here for daily coronavirus news. Please send your Covid-19 questions to [email protected] of indoor fitness centers and nail salons will be getting back to work June 1 as Gov. Phil Scott opens more sectors of the economy. The governor also increased the limits on social
  • Final Reading: Tech issues disrupt committee meetings, elected officials to see pay freezes

    Final Reading: Tech issues disrupt committee meetings, elected officials to see pay freezes
    Rep. Michael Marcotte, R-Newport, chair of the House Commerce & Economic Development Committee at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger— The Vermont House canceled its committee hearings while the Senate went ahead after a technical problem Thursday prevented the public from viewing the proceedings live online.The House halted its committee work around 10:30 a.m. while the Senate continued with its meetings as scheduled. The hearings w
  • Catholic churches to be first to reopen statewide June 1

    Catholic churches to be first to reopen statewide June 1
    A sign outside the Dummerston Congregational Church offers some timely guidance. Photo by Kevin O’Connor/VTDigger
    VTDigger posts regular coronavirus updates on this page. You can also subscribe here for daily coronavirus news. Please send your Covid-19 questions to [email protected]’s Catholic churches will be first to reopen statewide June 1 — with a long list of Covid-19 precautions — as most other faith communities are continuing with onlin
  • Catholic church to be first religious group to reopen statewide June 1

    Catholic church to be first religious group to reopen statewide June 1
    A sign outside the Dummerston Congregational Church offers some timely guidance. Photo by Kevin O’Connor/VTDigger
    VTDigger posts regular coronavirus updates on this page. You can also subscribe here for daily coronavirus news. Please send your Covid-19 questions to [email protected]’s Catholic churches will be first to reopen statewide June 1 — with a long list of Covid-19 precautions — as most other faith communities are continuing with onlin
  • YWP: ‘Keeping my eyes closed’

    YWP: ‘Keeping my eyes closed’
    Young Writers Project, an independent nonprofit based in Burlington, engages young people to write and use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power, and to gain confidence and skills for school, the workplace and life.
    Check out the most recent issue of The Voice, Young Writers Project’s monthly digital magazine. Click here.
    Each week, VTDigger features a writing submission – an essay, poem, fiction or nonfiction – accompanied by a photo or illustration from Y
  • DMV to announce reopening steps on Monday

    DMV to announce reopening steps on Monday
    Commissioner of Motor Vehicles Wanda Minoli testifies before the Senate Transportation Committee on Jan. 16, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerVTDigger posts regular coronavirus updates on this page. You can also subscribe here for daily coronavirus news. Please send your Covid-19 questions to [email protected] Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles plans to announce steps to reopening its services at Gov. Phil Scott’s press conference on Monday.
    Commissioner Wand
  • Margolis: Yes, elections matter even in a pandemic

    Margolis: Yes, elections matter even in a pandemic
    Gov. Phil Scott has a high approval rating as a result of his handling of the coronavirus crisis.Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerJon Margolis is a VTDigger political columnist.
    Stop the Presses! Gov. Phil Scott is running for a third term.Now that we’ve all gotten over the shock, let’s go to work on avoiding the temptation to wonder whether we need to hold an election at all.A temptation always to be avoided because in a democracy elections should always be held as scheduled. But espe
  • Covid-19 Roundup: 1 new death, 3 cases; Hair stylists thrilled to be reopening

    Covid-19 Roundup: 1 new death, 3 cases; Hair stylists thrilled to be reopening
    Tom Chittenden wipes down a voting station at the Chamberlin School polling place during a revote on the South Burlington school budget on Thursday, May 28, 2020. The budget failed by 65.5% to 34.5%. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger📈 Get the latest statistics and live updates on our coronavirus page.
    📫 Sign up for our coronavirus email list.
    🗣️ Tell us your story or give feedback at [email protected]
    ❓ Get answers to FAQs in our Covid-19 knowledge bas
  • South Burlington soundly rejects school budget for second time

    South Burlington soundly rejects school budget for second time
    South Burlington Assistant City Clerk Deb Woodward checks in voters at the Chamberlin School polling place during a revote on the South Burlington school budget on Thursday, May 28, 2020. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerSouth Burlington voters soundly rejected a proposed $53.7 million school budget as voters went to the polls Thursday wearing masks required because of the coronavirus pandemic. 
    The budget lost with 64.5% of voters, or 2,924 residents, voting no and 35.5%, or 1,613 residents,
  • John Freitag: Voting by mail decision begs larger questions

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by John Freitag, of Strafford, who served for 19 years on the Strafford Board of Civil Authority participating in and monitoring elections. 
    The partisan nature of mailing ballots to all voters in November has obscured some fundamental questions regarding  this issue. So what beyond the current political squabble is of importance if we are to match our hard won universal enfranchisement we enjoy with the best actions we can take?
    First, all elect
  • Bob Frenier: Absentee ballots and my 2016 election

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bob Frenier, of Chelsea, who served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 2016-2018. 
    I have to laugh when I hear Progressive/Democrat members of the Vermont Legislature tell us that their vote-by-mail scheme to send live ballots to everyone on the voter checklist will be free of controversy and fraud because Vermonters know how to run elections and certainly don’t try to steal them. 
    Phooey! These are the same Progressive/Democra
  • Coalition: Covid response launches plan for housing for all

    Editor’s note: This letter sent to Gov. Phil Scott, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe is by leaders in Vermont’s housing, shelter and service provider network. Signers are listed below.Dear Gov. Scott, Speaker Johnson, and Pro Tem Ashe: 
    Homelessness has been stopped in its tracks in Vermont. As we write this, the vast majority of Vermonters experiencing homelessness are sheltered. This is an incredible achievement. What’s more incredible is the speed
  • Donovan backs off injunction against gym owner, lawsuit continues

    Donovan backs off injunction against gym owner, lawsuit continues
    Attorney General TJ Donovan on Thursday, March 12, 2020. File photo by Kit Norton/VTDiggerVTDigger posts regular coronavirus updates on this page. You can also subscribe here for daily coronavirus news. Please send your Covid-19 questions to [email protected] Attorney General TJ Donovan has withdrawn his request for a preliminary injunction against a Rutland gym owner who opened his facility earlier this month despite an executive order barring fitness centers from o
  • Milne joins race for lieutenant governor

    Milne joins race for lieutenant governor
    Scott Milne speaks to reporters after his loss to incumbent Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy in the 2016 election. File photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDiggerBusinessman Scott Milne announced Thursday that he is joining the race for lieutenant governor.Milne, who is the president of the travel agency Milne Travel, declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the post hours before the deadline to file for the Aug. 11 primary.Milne faces two opponents in the Republican primary for lieutenant go
  • House cancels meetings, Senate goes ahead after Zoom glitch

    House cancels meetings, Senate goes ahead after Zoom glitch
    The Vermont Senate has been holding hearings over Zoom, which experienced technical problems. ScreenshotThe Vermont House cancelled its committee hearings while the Senate went ahead after a technical problem Thursday prevented the public from viewing the proceedings live online.
    The House halted its committee work around 10:30 a.m. while the Senate continued with its meetings as scheduled. The hearings were taped. 
    The Office of Legislative Council told House and Senate leaders that holdin
  • Woolf: Getting back to normal on jobs will be slow and painful 

    Woolf: Getting back to normal on jobs will be slow and painful 
    The Vermont Department of Labor in Montpelier. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerArt Woolf is a columnist for VTDigger. He recently retired as an associate professor of economics at the University of Vermont. The latest weekly update from the Vermont Department of Labor shows a continuing improvement in the state’s economy, although it is still far from normal or healthy.Last week, 1,480 Vermont workers applied for unemployment insurance, the seventh consecutive week of declining appl
  • Marlboro College announces campus sale to Democracy Builders

    Marlboro College announces campus sale to Democracy Builders
    The Marlboro College campus. Courtesy photoThe parent organization of a national charter school network plans to buy the Marlboro College campus and hopes to establish a first-of-its-kind higher education program on the 500-acre property.
    The southern Vermont college on Thursday announced the deal with Democracy Builders, a nonprofit whose affiliate organizations include several charter school portfolios, including the nationwide Democracy Prep network and the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Acad
  • Jay Peak sale process ‘ground to a halt’ due to Covid-19 pandemic

    Jay Peak sale process ‘ground to a halt’ due to Covid-19 pandemic
    The Tram Haus Lodge at Jay Peak Resort on Friday, June 7, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerThe coronavirus pandemic is delaying the sale of the Jay Peak ski resort, with the man in charge of overseeing that process not sure when it will move forward again. 
    Michael Goldberg, a court-appointed receiver managing the ski resort and others assets at the center of a massive alleged investor fraud scandal, wrote in an update filed in court this week that the process of selling the resort &ldq
  • Vermont hair salons prepare to reopen with special safety restrictions

    Vermont hair salons prepare to reopen with special safety restrictions
    Sonia Lamb, owner of Salon INK in Hinesburg, is looking forward to resuming operations while working within new state public health guidelines. Courtesy photoEditor’s note: Sunny Nagpaul is a reporter with Community News Service, a collaboration with the University of Vermont’s Reporting & Documentary Storytelling program.
    Two months after the coronavirus emergency mandated the closure of all non-essential businesses, unemployment numbers among hairdressers have soared, and some
  • Lake Champlain Chamber prepares for transition at the top

    Lake Champlain Chamber prepares for transition at the top
    Cathy Davis at her home in Jericho on Wednesday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — Leadership of the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce will change this fall when Cathy Davis, now executive vice president, takes over the top job. President Tom Torti is stepping down in November to focus on the chamber’s foundation.
    The Lake Champlain Chamber, located in Vermont’s most populous area, covers Chittenden, Addison, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, though it has members th
  • Final Reading: Vermont’s hospitals could see a hefty bailout

    Final Reading: Vermont’s hospitals could see a hefty bailout
    VT Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts speaks during a press conference at the ECHO Center in Burlington on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger— Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday said that he has made up his mind about running for re-election, but won’t announce his plans until Thursday, the deadline for candidates to file for primaries. “I’ll come out with a statement then. I have until five o’clock tomorrow, but I have arrived at a decisi
  • Tunbridge World’s Fair, North Haverhill Fair canceled for 2020

    Tunbridge World’s Fair, North Haverhill Fair canceled for 2020
    Mike Tambolio, presiding judge for the Tunbridge World’s Fair harness races, watches the finish line as harness racers and horses approach it. File photo by Charles Hatcher/ Valley NewsThis article by Alex Hanson was published by the Valley News on May 26.TUNBRIDGE — For the first time since World War II, the annual World’s Fair has been canceled.The board of the Union Agricultural Society, the Tunbridge nonprofit that operates the fair and its grounds, had planned to meet
  • Scott runs for reelection, but won’t campaign for now

    Scott runs for reelection, but won’t campaign for now
    Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a press briefing on COVID-19 on March 23, 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerGov. Phil Scott is running for reelection. But he won’t be campaigning “until the state of emergency is over,” he wrote in an announcement Thursday morning.“As our state and nation continue to navigate a once-in-a-century challenge, Vermonters need and deserve a full-time governor who is focused on leading Vermont through the public health and economic crisis COVID-19
  • Covid-19 Roundup: 2 cases, no hospitalizations; State hits testing goal

    Covid-19 Roundup: 2 cases, no hospitalizations; State hits testing goal
    Signs direct patients to a pop-up testing site behind the Barre Memorial Auditorium on May 19, 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger📈 Get the latest statistics and live updates on our coronavirus page.
    📫 Sign up for our coronavirus email list.
    🗣️ Tell us your story or give feedback at [email protected]
    ❓ Get answers to FAQs in our Covid-19 knowledge base.
    🛒 See what’s open near you in our business directory.
    🙏 Support our nonpr
  • Kit Harrington: Child care reopen plan is unsafe

    Editor’s note: This commentary was written by Kit Harrington, on behalf of the Coalition of Families for Vermont’s Future. She lives in Winooski, and is a mother, educator, and advocate for children and families. 
    In the early weeks of the pandemic, Gov. Phil Scott acted wisely, focusing on public health and slowing the spread of this deadly disease. The initial decision to use CARES Act funds to stabilize child care centers throughout the state alleviated a tremendous amount of
  • Deborah Riemer: A country that gives directives, not ‘guidelines

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deborah Riemer, of East Rupert, who is a broadcast journalist, author, writer, editor and public speaker.
    I still have the laminated card from 1990 in my wallet. A picture of a gas mask on the front with two single lines in bold black lettering: 
    You Are Prepared! You are Protected! And in red the admonition: Open this Kit ONLY Under Clear Instructions from The Civil Defense. The flip side of the card has a list of color-coded instructions: What to
  • Suzanna Jones: What ‘Planet of the Humans’ reveals about us

    Editor’s note: This commentary is by Suzanna Jones, an off-the-grid farmer who lives in Walden.The recently released documentary “Planet of the Humans” takes direct aim at the major threat to the Earth: us. It does this by asking fundamental questions: Can nature withstand continued industrial extraction; can humans — particularly those in the dominant West — persist in taxing the natural world to fulfill our own “needs” and desires; is “green&rdqu
  • Scott administration plans $300M relief package for health care organizations

    Scott administration plans $300M relief package for health care organizations
    A negative pressure room inside the emergency department at Central Vermont Medical Center may be used to isolate incoming patients showing symptoms of Covid-19. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerThe Scott administration plans to put forward up to $300 million to bail out Vermont’s health care system, which has been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith told lawmakers and regulators Wednesday that he planned to make the relief package available to a
  • Vermont hits two major Covid-19 benchmarks

    Vermont hits two major Covid-19 benchmarks
    Emily Fredette, a Vermont Department of Health employee, greets patients at a pop-up Covid-19 testing site in Barre on May 19, 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerVTDigger posts regular coronavirus updates on this page. You can also subscribe here for daily coronavirus news. Please send your Covid-19 questions to [email protected] several days in a row over the weekend, more than 1,000 tests for Covid-19 were given daily in Vermont —  a goal state officials
  • Vermont Air Guard continues F-35 flights after Florida crash

    Vermont Air Guard continues F-35 flights after Florida crash
    One of the first two F-35 fighter jets to arrive at the Vermont Air National Guard base does a flyover at Burlington International Airport last September. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerThe Vermont National Guard is continuing its F-35 flights after one of the stealth aircraft crashed in Florida earlier this month. 
    The F-35 fighter jet crashed at the Eglin Air Force Base May 19 during a routine training flight, according to an Air Force statement. 
    The pilot ejected from the jet befor
  • Long-awaited Colchester Costco gas station opens

    Long-awaited Colchester Costco gas station opens
    Costco began selling gasoline this week at their Colchester location. Maplefields owner Skip Vallee has objected. Photo by Mark Johnson/VTDiggerCostco customers can finally pump gas from the dormant pumps at the chain’s Colchester location. 
    The company, which WCAX first reported opened its pumps on Tuesday, is selling regular gas for $1.59 a gallon – 24 cents below the state average for May. To cut down on traffic, the pumps are closed from 2-6 pm during weekdays and from 10am-
  • Inmate convicted in 2008 shooting released to home confinement due to Covid-19

    Inmate convicted in 2008 shooting released to home confinement due to Covid-19
    Kyle Bolaski listens to testimony from a toxicologist on the second day of a motion hearing to admit evidence at his new trial about the shooting victim’s mental health on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in White River Junction, Vt. (Valley News – Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to [email protected] article by Anna Merriman was published by the Valley News on May 26.WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A 36-year-o
  • Woolf: Income tax structure does not bode well for revenue picture

    Woolf: Income tax structure does not bode well for revenue picture
    Vermont has an unusual income tax structure, levying very high taxes on rich people, one of the highest rates in the nation.
    Art Woolf is a columnist for VTDigger. He recently retired as an associate professor of economics at the University of Vermont. With the arrival of Covid-19 and the partial shutdown of the Vermont economy, the state’s tax revenue picture for the balance of this fiscal year and for next is bleak.Revenue forecasters estimate the general fund, which supports almost
  • Vermont officials, lenders look to SAFE Act to help cannabis industry

    Vermont officials, lenders look to SAFE Act to help cannabis industry
    Jars of medical marijuana.File photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerVermont lenders have been intensely focused on issues raised by the Covid-19 crisis over the last two months. But they’re also keeping an eye on the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, because it would help them enter the growing market of cannabis-related businesses.Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan on May 19 joined a bipartisan coalition urging Congress to pass the SAFE Act as part of Covid-19 relief l
  • For socially distant graduations, drive-in theaters provide a model

    For socially distant graduations, drive-in theaters provide a model
    Champlain Valley Union is among the high schools planning drive-in graduation ceremonies at the Champlain Valley Expo fairgrounds. Wikimedia Commons photoThe coronavirus pandemic has transformed nearly every aspect of the American education system. And high school graduations, a hallmark springtime rite of passage, will be no exception.
    Many of the touchstones of such ceremonies – large crowds, a handshake from the principal – are forbidden by public health directives. So school
  • Final Reading: Senators grasp for revenue alternatives to fill budget holes

    Final Reading: Senators grasp for revenue alternatives to fill budget holes
    Sen. Ann Cummings, D-Washington, chair of the Senate Finance Committeespeaks during a committee meeting at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Friday, March 22, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger— A more detailed plan about how the state is going to be transitioning 2,000 Vermonters experiencing homelessness out of motels will materialize in the next few weeks, according to Sean Brown, deputy commissioner of the state’s Economic Services Division.He told House General lawmakers that o

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