In the Media

Articles from outside news and opinion sources.

Could Vermont change the healthcare game?

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From MSNBC's UP With Steve Kornacki: "Could Vermont’s single-payer health care experiment be a game changer? Vermont State Rep. Chris Pearson joins the UP panel to discuss."

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As Vermont Goes, So Goes the Nation?

April 5, 2014; Molly Worthen; New York Times

"Three years ago, Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, signed a bill creating Green Mountain Care: a single-payer system in which, if all goes according to plan, the state will regulate doctors’ fees and cover Vermonters’ medical bills. Mr. Shumlin is a Democrat, and the bill’s passage is a credit to his party. Yet a small upstart spent years building support for reform and nudging the Democrats left: the Vermont Progressive Party. The Progressives owe much of their success to the oddities of Vermont politics. But their example offers hope that the most frustrating dimensions of our political culture can change, despite obstacles with deep roots in American history."

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Minor guardianship bill passes House

February 14, 2014; Laura Krantz; VTDigger

House members Thursday afternoon passed a bill that overhauls the legal process for transferring guardianship of a minor to someone other than the parents.

H.581 now goes to the Senate, where family advocates say they will once again fight for changes that didn’t make it into the House version.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sandy Haas, P/D-Rochester, establishes clearer processes for situations in which someone other than the state, such as a grandparent, assumes responsibility for a child.

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Supporters of GMO labeling law fill House chamber

February 7, 2014; Andrea Suozzo; VTDigger

More than 200 people filled the floor of the House chamber for the joint hearing by the Senate Agriculture and Judiciary committees on H.112, a bill that mandates the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.

The House passed the bill in May, and the Senate Agriculture Committee took the bill up beginning first week of the legislative session this January.

Sen. David Zuckerman, P-Chittenden, vice-chair of the committee, said Friday that the panel approved the bill, 4-1, without a trigger clause that would delay implementation of GMO labeling until other states pass similar bills. H.112 now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Vt. lawmakers told whistle-blowers fear payback

February 3, 2014; Dave Gram; Times Argus

MONTPELIER — It started with what seemed like a simple request: State Auditor of Accounts Doug Hoffer wanted an exemption from Vermont’s public records law so he could protect the identities of state employees who report waste, fraud or abuse in their agencies.

But as testimony unfolded recently before the House Government Operations Committee, the subject mushroomed into a broader discussion about the concern many state employees have about coming forward to report problems in government.

Former Rep. Steve Howard, now the chief lobbyist for the Vermont State Employees’ Association, said the union surveyed members last year and found that fear of retaliation for speaking out in state workplaces is widespread.

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Vermont signs $2.8-million software contract

february 3, 2014; Nancy Remsen; Burlington Free Press

MONTPELIER — When the first campaign finance reports for the 2014 election are filed in July, the office of the Secretary of State hopes candidates will be able to submit their reports electronically if they want.

Electronic filing of contributions and spending on campaigns would be voluntary, but state officials want this component of the new election system to be ready for testing. The campaign finance application will eventually allow the public to conduct searches across candidate reports, for example, to better understand how money is being spent on elections...

...Robert Millar, executive director of the Vermont Progressive Party, agreed that a searchable database of campaign contributions would increase transparency, but he was disappointed that a new campaign finance law allows bigger contributions. “It will be increased transparency of increased spending.”

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