Ethan Allen Institute


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    The Institute encourages the downloading and circulating of its Special Reports.
    Please credit the Institute as the source.

    Special Reports

      Vermont Issues of 2013
      Eight major issues facing the legislature with suggestions for sensible action. Report in .pdf format. (January 2013)

      Education Finance in Vermont
      This concise explanation of how Vermont’s very complicated education finance system works is taken from the EAI-PAI Vermont Transparency web site. It has been updated to October 2012. Report in .pdf format.

      EAI Comments on DPS Comprehensive Energy Plan, “Vermont’s Energy Future”.
      This document contains the Institute’s comments on the Shumlin Administration’s CEP, including abandoning the proposed goal of  “90% of Vermont’s energy from renewable sources by 2050” and replacing it with “setting Vermont on a path to assure safe, reliable and competitively priced energy that will make possible a strong, competitive and growing economic base, both for creation of new wealth and income for the people of the state, and for expanded tax revenues to enable the state to meet its fiscal obligations.” (October 2011)

      Citizens Guide to Vermont Education 2011   
      This CD contains the EAI Better Value, Fewer Taxpayer Dollars report (2009), Hugh Kemper's interactive tutorial for school board budgeting, A Layman's Guide to Creating a Town Academy,
      the entire Title 16 - Vermont Education Laws, and much more valuable documentation, commentary and resources.    The CD is too large to be posted here (477 Mb), but you can obtain one by emailing

      Judicial Retention and the Case Against the Brigham Court 
      This report explains the judicial election and retention system in Vermont, and presents the cases for and against retention of the Brigham justices (who authored the very controversial 1996 school finance decision). It includes summaries of peculiar Vermont Supreme Court Cases, a section on the views of the Founding Fathers on judicial activism, and selected references. (1999)
      Report in MSWord format

      Better Value, Fewer Taxpayer Dollars.
      This report from the EAI-sponsored Commission on Rebalancing Education Cost and Value proposes to improve educational quality whle spending fewer taxpayer dollars - by replacing the high-cost bureaucratic union-dominated public school system with a new era of parental choice and provider competition, including public, charter, virtual, faith-based and home school options. (December 2009 - 28pp)

      Report in .pdf format.

       Off the Rails: Changing Demographics, Changing Economics, Accumulating Obligations: How Will Vermont Cope with a Challenging Future? (October, 2008)
      This important report (pdf format, 19pp) is a condensed and more popularized version of the 2006 Arthur Woolf/Dick Heaps paper listed below. It shows with text and graphics the expected changes in the state's productive work force 2006-2030, and the projected growth of state expenditures for K-12 education and human services over the same period. It presents five possible strategies for avoiding the dismal outcome that today's public policies will lead to if continued 24 years into the future. It also contains three pages of recommended policy proposals for beginning to cope with the impending fiscal probem. The report (updated from the original version released in December 2006) includes the names of the 23-member Project Advisory Group.
      Report in .pdf format

      "Don't Send Me to Waterbury!" Replacing the Vermont State Hospital with Humane Community-Based Recovery - and Saving Millions of Dollars for Vermont Taxpayers (November, 2007).
      This report chronicles the often dark history of the 110-year old Vermont State Hospital for the Insane, explains the arguments for permanently closing the now-decertified institution, offers examples of successful "recovery in community" alternatives for persons with mental illness, and makes strong arguments against creating a very costly (~$100 million) new institution to replace the present Hospital, as desired by the current state bureaucracy and the state employees' labor union.
      Report in .pdf format
      Executive Summary here

      Demographic Changes and Fiscal Consequences in Vermont (December, 2006)
      This academic study, produced under contract by Dr. Arthur Woolf and Richard Heaps of Northern Economic Consulting   Inc., is the basis for the Institute's December 2006 report "Off the Rails: Changing Demographics, Changing Economics, Accumulating Obligations. How will Vermont cope with a challenging future?" This document contains a 20 page appendix describing the economic methodology underlying the analysis.
      Text of Report in PDF format

      The Promise of Consumer-Driven Health Care: How Putting Consumers in Charge of their Health Will Improve Wellness - and Reduce Excessive Costs (April, 2006)
      This 20 page report (pdf format) explains consumer-driven health care and the various tax-free savings options (HSAs, HRAs, FSAs). The report describes the results of twelve CDHC plans dating back to 1978 and the history of CDHC initiatives in Vermont. The report includes a page of useful references and web sites.
      Report in .pdf format

      Understanding Vermont's Health Policy Choices (January, 2006)
      This report contains eight of the most relevant EAI commentaries on health care, plus the concluding section of the 2004 New Prescription" report and three other short documents. The purpose is to illuminate the choices in health acre policy facing the 2006 legislature.
      Report in .pdf format

      Reforming the Medical Malpractice System
      This is the invited testimony (3 pp) given by EAI President John McClaughry to the BISHCA Working Group on medical malpractice reform on January 26, 2005. It offers 12 heuristic ideas for changing the legal rules governing malpractice issues. Two of them (provider tort formulary and patient negligence formulary) are particularly innovative. (January, 2005)
      Report in .pdf format

      Retaining Supreme Court Justices: The Constitution, the Law, and the Legislature's Duty to Check an Overreaching Supreme Court.
      This February 2005 Institute report explains the judicial retention process, and argues forcefully that Justices John Dooley and Denise Johnson ought not be retained because of their repeated excursions into judicial "never never land" to extract socially progressive results from Vermont's 1786 constitution. The report also contains a summary of 16 weird opinions of the Supreme Court since 1992, views of the Founders on judicial usurpation, and useful references.
      Report in .pdf format

      Health Care in Vermont: A New Prescription (July, 2004)
      A pathbreaking agenda for consumer driven health insurance , transforming health care systems, reforming provider liability, and expanding personal responsibility for wellness. It contains seventeen specific steps for implementing the new agenda. 
      Report in .pdf format

      Creating Choices: Reforming Vermont's Home Health Care Regulation to Put Customer Service Ahead of Provider Protection (2004)
      Vermont alone of the fifty states preserves a system which confers near-monopoly status on twelve regional nonprofit agencies providing home health care to Medicaid and Medicare consumers. This near-monopoly system guarantees that the favored providers will become less responsive to consumer needs, because the consumers have nowhere else to turn. This report recommends ending the monopolies and allowing competition to better serve the home care needs of tens of thousands of elderly, disabled, and other needy Vermonters. (32pp, PDF)
      Report in .pdf format

      Helping Albert (2003): What $114 million in tax dollars buys for 1,850 developmentally disabled and socially isolated Vermonters (24pp, pdf)
      Report in .pdf format
      Data for enrollment and spending from Helping Albert (Excel spread sheet)

      A Health Care Reform Agenda for Vermont (January, 2003)
      This 14 page report clearly and concisely describes the "patient power" paradigm for health care policy; summarizes ten important steps the Federal government should take to help the states implement it; and sets forth 17 steps state governments can and should take. The report is suitable for any state, not just Vermont.
      Report in .pdf format

      Rebuilding Economic Opportunity
      This report, published in June 2002, is a response to the Dean Administration's "Successful Communities" report on improving the economy of the Northeast Kingdom
      Report in .pdf format

      Vermont’s Health Care Policy (January, 2002)
      An analysis and response to the report of the Governor’s Bipartisan Commission on health care Availability and Affordability.
      Report in .pdf format 

      Vermont's Health Care Policy 2002
      This seven page document contains the Institute's analysis and specific recommendations for health care reform. It is part of the preceding report (in PDF format), but this version can be downloaded directly without using PDF.
      Text of Report

      School Children First!
      This major Institute report describes the workings of Vermont's educational quality and finance law, Act 60; catalogs its growing problems; and outlines a replacement emphasizing parental choice and provider competition. (July 2001)
      Report in .pdf format

      Citizen Action: Ten Things You Can Do To Advance the Principles You Believe In
      This concise ten-point program informs every citizen on how to make a true civic contribution, and keep our democracy and civil society strong. (10/00) Feel free to copy and circulate!
      Text of Report

      Reviving Health Insurance in Vermont
      This is the executive summary of the Institute's report on how unwise laws and regulations destroyed Vermont's insurance market, and what steps should be taken to reverse the damage. (04/00)
      Text of Report   In .pdf format

      The Vermont Supreme Court at Work, 1993-2002
      A choice selection of sixteen remarkable opinions from the Court, including such favorites as those explaining education finance and gay marriage. (February 2005)
      Text of Report

      Vermont's Labor Movement 1999
      This Institute report, issued in January 1999, offers a snapshot of Vermont Labor's aims, organizing tactics, legislative goals, and political agenda.
      Text of Report

    Policy Proposals

    Fact Sheets

      The "Marriage" Amendment: Getting It Straight
      This brief legislative report explains the language and intent of the proposed Constitutional Amendment on marriage rights considered by the Vermont Senate on April 19, 2000.
      Text of Report

      Educational Choice in Vermont
      Vermont's 129 year old consumer choice system.
      Text of report

      Ten Hard Questions About Single Payer Health Care
      Text of Report

    Institute Books

      The Vermont Papers: Recreating Democracy on a Human Scale by Frank Bryan and John McClaughry (Chelsea Green Press, 1989). In this widely reviewed book Institute President McClaughry and Advisory Council member Bryan show how Vermont is uniquely capable of devolving governmental power from the overgrown state level to 40 new democratically governed shires, with their own finances, cultural identities, and flags. (Out of print, but available in many Vermont libraries.)

      A Better Path: From Welfare to Work by John McClaughry (EAI, 1993). This 90 page paperback book reviews the history of welfare policies, and describes how Oregon's successful Jobs Plus Program successfully replaces dependence with a fresh start in the work force.