Discover More from This Category: State News

Vermont’s wildland fire season has begun

April 24, 2024
Vermont’s wildland fire season is now underway, according to a news release from the Dept. of Forests, Parks, and Recreation’s (FPR) April 15. The Wildland Fire Program is geared up to provide daily updates and seasonal tips to Vermonters to keep them informed about fire danger risks and to help them prevent wildfires in their…

Vermont to study health benefits, program to permit psychedelic therapy

April 24, 2024
Last month, the Senate passed S.114, which will establish a psychedelic therapy advisory working group. This group will be tasked with continuing to examine the use of psychedelics to improve physical and mental health. They will also make recommendations regarding the establishment of a Vermont state program to permit health care providers to legally access psychedelics under state law, according to S.114. “Over the years, many institutions have conducted studies regarding the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin, a…

New law requires Vermonters to track and report surface water use

April 22, 2024
With spring underway and the bulk of construction season ahead, the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding those who withdraw surface water to track and report usage. Under the newly enacted Act 135 of 2022, anyone withdrawing surface water must file an annual report with DEC each January. The purpose of Act 135 is…

Caught flat-footed, Legislators rush to mitigate ed tax increase

April 17, 2024
By Curt Peterson The Vermont House Ways and Means Committee is rushing madly to solve a crushing education tax problem. Early in January, several state representatives warned colleagues that an education fund issue would cause severe pain property taxpayers across the state. Many of the elected, and Governor Scott, chanted, “Cut your budgets!” as their…

EPA finalizes first-ever national drinking water standard

April 17, 2024
$1 billion aimed at removing harmful PFAS from drinking water On April 10, the Biden-Harris Administration issued the first-ever national, legally enforceable drinking water standard to protect communities from exposure to harmful per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as ‘forever chemicals.’ Exposure to PFAS has been linked to deadly cancers, impacts to the liver and…

Bill to ban PFAS and other toxic chemicals advances in the Vermont House

April 17, 2024
April 10, the same day new national standards were set, the Vermont House advanced legislation (S.25) on a strong voice vote to ban per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) and other toxic chemicals from personal care products and menstrual products, and to ban PFAS from apparel, cookware, artificial turf, and children’s products. An earlier version of…

Now you see it, now you don’t

April 17, 2024
Last Tuesday, the House Ways & Means Committee unveiled a proposal to make significant changes to Vermont’s education financing system, including limits on how much school budgets could go up going forward. The plan even garnered some support from the Scott Administration. However, by Thursday, April 11, when organizations representing various education sectors came out…

Four weeks to pass or bills are ‘dead’ until 2025

April 17, 2024
The State House is an extraordinarily busy place at the moment. The Legislature is in the last month of its two-year 2023-24 Biennium. Which means, that if bills don’t pass in the next four weeks, they are “dead” until January 2025, when they can be re-introduced. So, for many issues and bills, this is crunch…

VTrans awards $8.6 million to municipalities for transportation, highways, stormwater

April 17, 2024
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) announced Wednesday, April 10, the recipients of more than $8.6 million in federal funds for municipal grant projects through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Municipal Highways and Stormwater Mitigation Program. “These diverse projects will help continue to enhance and expand Vermont’s transportation infrastructure,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “Improvements to…

Baby wildlife, when to help and how according to the Humane Society of the United States

April 10, 2024
As spring brings forth ‘baby season’ for wildlife and companion animals, the Humane Society of the United States has offered the following recommendations on how to appropriately respond when encountering baby animals outside. Good Samaritans often come across young animals and wonder if they are in need of assistance. Whether individuals come across a litter of kittens…

Goddard College to close after 86 years of progressive education

April 9, 2024
Decades long declining enrollment forces closure April 9, Goddard College's Board of Trustees announced that despite decades of dedicated efforts to sustain the institution, they have ultimately arrived at the heart-wrenching decision to close the College’s doors. Facing financial insolvency, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to close at the end of the current semester, citing a…

Vermont Housing Improvement Program added 547 new affordable units in three years

April 3, 2024
  Governor Scott and the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) are celebrating the success of more than three years of the Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP) as DHCD launches VHIP 2.0. “The Vermont Housing Improvement Program has been incredibly successful and an essential tool expanding Vermont’s housing stock,” said Governor Scott. “By bringing existing…

Two years after a veto, lawmakers angle again for expungement system reform

April 3, 2024
  By Norah White, Community News Service Editor’s note: The Community News Service is a program in which University of Vermont students work with professional editors to provide content for local news outlets at no cost. Lawmakers are trying again to pass a bill to replace the state’s expungement system with a more expansive process of…

Tri-partisan Climate Superfund Act aims to hold big oil accountable

April 3, 2024
On Friday, March 29 the Vermont Senate voted overwhelmingly (21-5) to advance S.259, the Climate Superfund Act, which would ensure that Vermonters are not left shouldering the full cost of climate disruption. Following another vote Tuesday, April 2, the bill will head to the House of Representatives for consideration. As Vermont continues to grapple with the…

A lot of noise

April 3, 2024
The past few weeks at the State House have been anything but quiet. Last week, House leaders pushed through over $130 million in new taxes and fees alone for various spending priorities. The governor has not minced words as to what he views as the Legislature making Vermont unaffordable. A group of House Republicans suggested…