ACLU Lobbying to End School Choice in Vermont
Montpelier – As the Vermont legislature gears up for lawmaking in 2023, a big issue in the education arena is what to do about Vermont’s 150-year-old school choice system known as “tuitioning” following the Carson v. Makin US Supreme Court decision. Makin ruled that if a state offers a school choice program, as Vermont does, it cannot discriminate against religious schools from participating in the program.
NYC Building Emissions Standard Infiltrating Vermont?
While Vermont climateers are pressing forward their broad and costly agenda here, their counterparts in New York City are well down that same road. Just before Christmas the New York City Buildings Department released the first set of final rules for a landmark climate law passed in 2019 that aims to significantly slash [carbon dioxide ] emissions from buildings that are larger than 25,000 square feet — the city’s biggest source of emissions..
Commentary: Return of the Hidden Milk Tax
For over 40 years Sen. Bobby Starr has battled to get state or federal governments to set and enforce over-order (premium) prices paid to dairy farmers. His latest bill is a “hidden milk tax” that consumers would pay, but never know why.
Commentary: Clean heat ‘carbon tax’ 2.0 has a new name and number
Last year H.715, an act relating to the Clean Heat Standard, which would have mandated that fossil-based heating fuel dealers pay a carbon-based “credit” fee for selling their products, was vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott and that veto was sustained by one vote (99-51) in the state House of Representatives. Democrats and Progressives are hoping that newly elected supermajorities in both the House and Senate, along with a new name for what is essentially a carbon tax on home heating fuels, will ensure that that the Clean Heat Standard will become law this year.
Gov. Scott’s 2023 Inaugural Address
On January 4, fresh off a seventy percent reelection victory, Gov. Phil Scott gave his fourth inaugural address to the legislature and the people. As we have come to expect, it was a workmanlike address, emphasizing what is good about Vermont and what his administration has done in the past six years to restrain costly government while working to address real, continuing problems not of the governor’s making.
Weatherization savings without taxpayer money
A report by Emma Cotton in Vermont Digger (12/14) touts the new Weatherization Repayment Assistance Program to be offered to their customers by Green Mountain Power, Vermont Gas, Burlington Electric, and other utilities. It will allow homeowners to spread the cost of weatherizing and installing electric heat pumps over years of utility bills, at an extra cost of as little as $20 per month. Says Maura Collins, executive director of the Vermont Home Financing Agency, “energy savings should more than make up for the new charge that will be on your utility bill.” To assist lower income homeowners and renters, the taxpayers are putting in $9 million.
The UN Climate “Conference of Parties 27” Targets US taxpayers
The Washington Post reports that “After two weeks of tense negotiations at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Egypt, known as COP27, diplomats reached a final agreement that yielded a breakthrough in helping vulnerable countries cope with climate disasters.”
Commentary: The Affordable Heating Fraud
Disreputable politicians all too often assign deceptive labels to legislation to mislead voters who don’t pay close attention. A deplorable example of such mislabeling is the forthcoming Affordable Heating Act.
Commentary: Expand, don’t restrict school choice options
For over 150 years, Vermont has operated the most equitable and dynamic school choice program in the nation. Any parents of any children in towns/districts that do not have a public school (some 90 Vermont towns) can choose any public or approved independent school to send their child with an amount of money following the child that is competitive with, if less than, the cost to educate that child in the public school system.
Vermont Committee adopts California ICE Car and Truck ban
On November 17 the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, called LCAR, voted to approve the decision by the Scott administration to conform Vermont’s clean air rules to the latest version set by the California Air Resources Board. Vermont first signed on to the California rules in 1996. It signed on to amended rules in 2001 – as decreed by Gov. Howard Dean over the objections – twice – of LCAR.