In the Media

Articles from outside news and opinion sources.

Better off?

June 28, 2013; Tim Johnson; Burlington Free Press

Sen. Anthony Pollina, D/P-Washington, chief sponsor of Vermont’s GPI legislation, told a session of the ecological economics conference devoted to GPI how he came to realize a new measure was needed.

“I was having my breakfast, and I opened up the newspaper, and there was an article that said Vermont had one of the strongest gross domestic products or gross state products of any state in the country,” he said. “So that seemed pretty good, that Vermont had such a strong economy.

“Then I turned the page,” he continued, “and it said hunger had increased by a third in the state over the last year. That got me thinking about the need for a different kind of indicator that would put us more in touch with reality.”

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If Progressives challenge Shumlin in 2014, it’s the governor’s own fault

June 14, 2013; Alicia Freese; VTDigger

The Vermont Progressive Party isn’t chomping at the bit to make a run for the governor’s seat in 2014, but party leaders say their displeasure with Gov. Peter Shumlin might leave them no choice.

“We’ve stayed out [of the past two elections] in sort of mild support of him,” said Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, who leads the Progressive caucus in the House. “I would say he is making it harder and harder for us to maintain that level of support.”

The last time the Vermont Progressive Party threw their weight behind their own candidate was in 2008, when Anthony Pollina, now a state senator, swept up more than 20 percent of the vote

Shumlin’s pledges to set up a single-payer health care system and to shutter Vermont Yankee helped cement the party’s support for him in the past two elections.

Shumlin undercut that allegiance during the 2013 legislative session, Progressives say, and they are weighing a challenge in 2014.

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The Progressive Party And The Governor

June 11, 2013; Bob Kinzel and Sage Van Wing; VPR

Click here to listen!

The Vermont Progressive Party is disappointed with Governor Shumlin. They don't appreciate his stance against reforming the state's income tax system, and they didn't love his budget this year.  Progressive Party Chair Martha Abbott and House Caucus leader Chris Pearson join Bob Kinzel to discuss whether they will continue to support Governor Shumlin and where the Progressive Party goes from here.

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Progressives May Run Against Shumlin in 2014

June 11, 2013; Bob Kinzel; VPR News

But the Progressives’ enthusiasm for Shumlin took a big hit in the recent legislative session.

They were very disappointed that the Governor opposed efforts to reform the state’s income tax system. They were also puzzled about why he proposed taking $17 million from a tax credit program for low income working people to pay for an expansion of child care services.

Burlington Representative Chris Pearson is the party’s caucus leader in the Vermont House. He says Shumlin’s actions make it very difficult for the Progressives to support him in 2014.

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Vermont Gov. Signs Bill Marijuana Decriminalization Bill into Law

June 7, 2013; Phillip Smith; Daily Chronic

MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed into law Thursday a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. That makes Vermont the 17th state to decriminalize, including all of its neighboring New England states except New Hampshire.

Introduced by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) and passed with tripartisan support, House Bill 200 removes criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replaces them with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. People under 21 will be required to undergo substance abuse screening.

Under current state law, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail for a first offense and up to two years in jail for a subsequent offense.

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Connecticut passes GMO-labeling law, but Vermont could still be first to require it

June 6, 2013; Andrew Stein; VTDigger

The Vermont House was the first legislative body in the U.S. to approve a bill that would require the labeling of foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). But the Legislature won’t be the first to pass such a bill into law.

Monday, Connecticut’s general assembly became approved the first GMO labeling law in the country, and Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy has said he would sign it.

Vermont Sen. David Zuckerman, P-Chittenden, vice-chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, which is set to take up Vermont’s GMO labeling bill in the second half of the biennium next year. He has fought for similar legislation in Vermont for a decade.

“As legislative bodies move this forward, it will certainly add to our Legislature’s confidence that it’s worth moving forward,” he said.

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