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home : opinion : columns March 26, 2015 

David Coates: Absolutely No End In Sight
I wish I had some encouraging news to share with you on the status of the state's liabilities for underfunded pensions and retiree health care benefits (OPEB), but I don't as these liabilities continue to grow despite positive, incremental changes that have been made over the last few years. Unfortunately, the changes only ended up nibbling around the edges; the size of the liabilities and the key underlying assumptions require significant structural reform.
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mark Whitworth: The RESET Program Will Save $275M? Not So Fast
RESET is the enormously complicated, 15-year energy program that the Shumlin administration proposes as a replacement for the troubled SPEED program.
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tom Licata: Progressivism
Progressivism -- so pervasive in today's Democratic Party -- is the ideology of American suicide and specifically of American Constitutionalism. This is the fifth in a series of writings dissecting and analyzing Progressivism's ideological beliefs and ideas, to which the just stated conclusion will become self-evident. "Suicide" is an emotive term but here I use its cognitive 'self-inflicting' meaning. That is, the demise of American Constitutionalism is coming almost entirely from internal or domestic sources, rather than external or foreign.
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Debby Haskins: The High Cost Of A Potent Drug
Today's pot is much more potent than people realize. Combine a much more potent and dangerous drug with the enhanced delivery methods available today -- edibles, vapor pens, oil extracts -- and the discussion about legalizing marijuana for recreational use takes on a much darker and troubling tinge.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rob Roper: Forced Consolidation vs. Going Independent
Last November, Vermonters sent a loud and clear message to Montpelier to fix Vermont's education financing system and lower our property tax burden. The response now coming out of the Legislature is based on mandatory consolidation of school districts into units of no fewer than 1,100 students, which will affect all but 12 of Vermont's 273 school districts. Other measures include ending small school grants, getting rid of the "phantom student" formula that mitigates the financial impact of losing student population, and a nuanced cap on spending increases of around 2 percent.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Stephanie Kaplan and Annette Smith: Beauty and the Beast - How Vermont's Public Service Board is Degrading Vermont's Landscape
Vermont's scenic beauty has always been highly valued both by Vermonters and by visitors to our lovely state.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

John McClaughry - Vermont Health Care On The Mend
In my few minutes today I'd like to share with you some concise thoughts for mending health care in Vermont.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ann Coulter: Sanctimony and Grandstanding Are More Fun Than Free Speech
Sanctimony and grandstanding are more fun than free speech
Saturday, March 21, 2015

Amy Goodman: Flush The TPP
Flush the TPP
Saturday, March 21, 2015

Geoffrey Norman: One Person, One Vote - Or Else
One person, one vote -- or else
Saturday, March 21, 2015

John Hughes and David Cuillier: Next Disaster Government Prevents With Openness May Be Its Own
Last year, federal officials made a startling discovery in a storage room overseen by the Food and Drug Administration at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md. As reported by The Washington Post, the discovery included long-forgotten samples of smallpox along with boxes and vials of other pathogens, including the virus behind the tropical disease dengue.
Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sean Vitka: Congress Must Pass FOIA Reform And The President Must Endorse It
Congress must pass FOIA reform, and the president must endorse it
Friday, March 20, 2015

Eric Herr and Ed DuPont: State's Citizens Deserve More Efficient Government
New Hampshire is the "Live Free or Die" state by word and action. Yet the small state government that the Founding Fathers envisioned and that we embrace still has grown to be a large, complex institution with thousands of employees, nearly $6 billion in annual expenditures and hundreds of partners.
Friday, March 20, 2015

An Inconvenient Truth: Open Government Requires Transparency
Withholding information, or even appearing to keep the public at arm's length, creates a breach of trust between the American people and our institutions of government. Journalists, good government watchdogs, private citizens and even members of Congress often butt up against a byzantine bureaucracy that makes it tough to track down answers.
Thursday, March 19, 2015

Eric Newton: A Media Conspiracy That's Good For You
Each spring for 10 years now, a vast media conspiracy has rolled across the hills and plains of this nation. Journalists of every stripe -- cartoonists to commentators to hard news reporters -- have been in on it. And not just journalists, but politicians, educators and librarians, as well as members of nonprofits and civic groups.
Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cindy Wells: Cuts Proposed To State Child Abuse Prevention Program
Prevent Child Abuse Vermont is currently being considered for cuts to our budget totaling $503,000.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Edwin Bender: Lawmakers Attack Transparency
Transparency in our elections, our government, and our democracy doesn't just happen. It's hard work. It takes funding. It needs staff. Perhaps most of all, it takes an understanding that the value of transparency can't be measured as an immediate return on investment.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

John McClaughry: Tax Raising Mania Sweeps Montpelier
Crunch time is rapidly approaching in Montpelier. The pressing problem is finding at least another $112 million to fill a General Fund budget gap for 2016.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sen. Patrick Leahy: Building A Stronger Democracy Through Government Transparency
Sunshine Week is a time to celebrate one of our nation's most basic values, the public's "right to know." Our very democracy is built on the idea that our government should not operate in secret. James Madison, a staunch defender of open government, whose birthday we celebrate each year during Sunshine Week, wisely noted that for our democracy to succeed, people "must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives." Transparency enables the American people to hold their government accountable.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Gary Pruitt: The Right To Know to Just Plain 'No'
It's getting harder and more expensive to use public records to hold government officials accountable. Authorities are undermining the laws that are supposed to guarantee citizens' right to information, turning the right to know into just plain "no."
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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