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 2021 legislative session started out looking good for state pension reform. The Treasurer and Speaker of the House were talking loudly that fixes had to be made to the teachers’ and municipal employees pension and benefits programs as their unfunded liabilities were racing toward the $6 billion mark. They put forward the outlines of a potential plan.
America has just celebrated a new national holiday, June 19 (“Juneteenth”). It was the date in 1865 when a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that slavery had been abolished in America. Actually three quarters of the states, many of them with Federally-controlled governments, did not ratify the Thirteenth Amendment that abolished slavery until almost six months later, but let’s overlook that.
Some Vermont counties are set to get more money from the federal government in one year than they have gotten from Vermont taxpayers in the 21st century. Part of the Covid stimulus package involves the federal government allocating billions in ARPA stimulus funding to counties across the US, according to each county’s share of the U.S. population. Vermont’s counties are set to get $121 million directly funded to them. For reference, Vermont’s Legislature recently allocated $80 million of ARPA funding, despite some vocal disagreement from Governor Scott.