VCRD’s Vermont Proposition is a sincere liberal’s dream for somehow ending racism, reducing inequality, defeating poverty, countering the menace of climate change, and replacing grassroots democracy with a hugely expanded and unaccountable administrative state. Put it back on the shelf.
The Vermont Council on Rural Development has released a first draft of “the Vermont Proposition”, a vision for Vermont’s future. Imagine what you would get if you assembled a dozen of the most high-minded, most sincere, most politically correct liberals in the state, who as liberals are not at all hesitant to use the power of government to make sure everyone falls in line with the grand Vision. You would expect them to produce something very much like the Vermont Proposition.
The 2020 Census numbers for Vermont indicate that our little state grew by about 20,000 people over the past decade, or +2.8%. We also know that within Vermont our overall population has been migrating toward the northwest region of the state (Chittenden, Franklin and Lamoille Counties), and away from the south and east. Moreover, there is a legislative mandate to break up the six-member Chittenden senate district (currently Chittenden County minus Colchester and Huntington/Buels Gore). All of these factors point to a legislative district map in 2022 that could look very different from the ones Vermonters have used, not just since 2012, but for many decades past.
Gov. Scott has vetoed a bill (S.107) that stretches from 19 to 20 the age at which arrests and court proceedings are made public. The issue raises the question of when juveniles should be given the rights, protections – and privileges and responsibilities - of adults.
In a study released in the fall of 2020, State Auditor Doug Hoffer reported that Vermont’s healthcare costs had increased by 167% between 2000 and 2018. Keep in mind that those years saw a number of “reforms” that promised to reduce costs while increasing access and quality, including Catamount Health, Green Mountain Care (the failed attempt at single payer), and the latest debacle that is OneCare Vermont. All of these programs shared some common characteristics: they were all top-down, government centered, and bureaucratic.
Three lawsuits now in progress are likely to expand parental choice in Vermont education. Rather than dealing with “an evolving and murky legal landscape”, the legislature should reform our laws to incorporate the new legal requirements into a well-conceived parental choice - provider competition model.
President Biden is under pressure from the Democratic Left to seize control of the Supreme Court, by packing it with additional liberal justices committed to upholding the Biden program. President Roosevelt tried that in 1937, and got hammered flat. It would destroy the independence of the Judiciary and fatally rupture the American system of a government of separated powers and constitutional fidelity.
Vermont is on the cusp of having the least secure election system in the nation.
The bill that passed the Vermont senate 27-3 (S.15) is now under consideration in the house. It would make permanent the temporary, COVID-emergency provisions adopted for the 2020 general election, including the policy of mailing “live” ballots to all voters who are active on the voter checklist, regardless of whether or not the voter requests an absentee ballot.
The US Department of Education (USDE) recently found that Vermont is one of only two states which “needs intervention in implementing the requirements of Part B Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).” This shatters the myth that Vermont offers disabled students a superior education.
A bill to register building contractors is just the first step toward eventual licensing even for local handymen, and enforced compliance with energy conservation building standards to defeat climate change, no matter what the cost.