Be Informed Statehouse

Single Member Legislative Districts For Vermont?

This year, the tri-partisan Legislative Apportionment Board (LAB) recommended that the Vermont legislature re-draw house and senate district boundaries (we do this every ten years following the census) so that there would be 150 single member house districts and 30 single member senate districts. This would be a change from Vermont’s current mishmash of one- Read More…

Business & Economics Energy

STICKER SHOCK! $2.2 Billion Requested For “GREEN” Electricity Infrastructure

As the legislature takes up the Climate Action Plan’s recommendation to electrify pretty much everything in Vermont by the year 2050, including home/business heating and transportation, a big question is how are we supposed to create and deliver enough electricity to actually do that. And, of course, how much might it cost. Testimony to this issue Read More…

Education Tax Land

Act 46 School Choice “Mega-District” Enjoys Lower Budgets and Lower Property Taxes

By Rob Roper Act 46, the mandatory school district consolidation bill passed in 2015, was sold with the promise that it would lower the cost public education in Vermont. It has not lived up to that promise (get ready for a massive property tax increase) with one very interesting exception: The Northeast Kingdom School Choice Read More…

Business & Economics Education Tax Land

Who Should Pay for Vermont’s Pension Crisis?

By Rob Roper Vermont now has a $4.5 billion unfunded public pension liability for teachers and municipal workers. The politicians who created this problem are slow (stationary, actually) to take up the task of fixing this because the numbers are huge and telling someone they’re going to have to suck it up and pay does Read More…

Energy Statehouse

With TCI Imploding, A Worse Bill Is on the Horizon

Before the 2020 legislative session kicked off, proponents of the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) were calling the interstate agreement to raise prices of gasoline and diesel by as much as 17¢ a gallon their “banner” legislation for the new year. Now, just half way through January, the scheme is unravelling at a rapid pace. The Read More…

Property Rights

Amendment Would Eliminate Private Ownership of Real Estate

PR.9 is a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would essentially and in effect ban the private ownership of real estate in Vermont. It’s short. You can read it all thig (except for Section 3, the effective date, which I cut for some brevity) here: PROPOSAL 9. Sec. 1. PURPOSE This proposal would amend Read More…

Tax Land

TCI Interstate Carbon Tax Is Imploding

The ink wasn’t dry on the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) memorandum of understanding before Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) declared it a “boondoggle” that his state would never support. That first domino fell hard, now several others are teetering. In Connecticut, Governor Ted Lamont (D-CT), who has an approval rating of 24 percent and is already Read More…

Tax Land

How Will Vermonters Afford This Agenda?

The Vermont legislature returns in January with a long list of daunting challenges, all with potentially astronomical price tags for Vermonters, who are already some of the most highly taxed people in the United States. Among this list includes a projected 6% increase in property taxes to fund an education system already topping $2 billion Read More…

Business & Economics

Yes, We Do Need to Focus on Our Business Climate

Governor Scott recently took some heat from the media over a statement he made following the announcement by Energizer that they would be closing their Bennington plant and moving its operations to Wisconsin. The governor said: “This decision [by Energizer] is an unfortunate example of why those of us in Montpelier need to work together Read More…

Tax Land

The Authoritarian/Totalitarian Plastic Bag Ban

By Rob Roper Activists and politicians around Vermont are preening with pride about having passed the nation’s broadest ban on plastic bags and plastic products, with a promise (in the form of a study committee) of more to come. As citizens of an ostensibly free society founded upon the principle of limited government, this is Read More…

Op-Ed Statehouse

Niceties Aside, It’s an Authoritarian Police State

by Rob Roper In a recent commentary featured on Vermont Digger, Steering Clear of the Shoals of Socialism, David Moats urges his fellow leftists to avoid the negative stereotypes of the socialist label by calling their ideology, of all things, “Democratic Capitalism.” Yeah, nice try! He says, “One way for Democrats to protect themselves from the deeply Read More…

Business & Economics Energy

Green Reality: Ripping Off the Poor to Subsidize the Rich

by Rob Roper VPR is doing a terrific series on state programs titled, Did It Work?, going back to see whether or not the promises put forth by government programs actually delivered. So far, they have examined three such programs, none of which met expectations. I wish I could say I was surprised. One story Read More…