Governor Peter Shumlin’s plan
to finance a major expansion of child care programs is sharply dividing Vermont’s early childhood community. There’s nearly unanimous support for the proposal
to increase funding for child care subsidies. But there’s
disagreement over how to pay for the initiative.
Vermont became the first state on Monday to publish the rates
it would charge people who don’t currently have health insurance to get
coverage – a key step toward establishing the health exchanges that are central
to the federal health care law known as Obamacare. Health
officials said Monday the rates are comparable to current commercial rates.
the first time this legislative session, the full Vermont Senate will debate
renewable energy on Tuesday. In Montpelier, though, some lawmakers’ hopes of passing meaningful
climate change legislation that might reduce greenhouse gas emissions have already
collided with the state’s fiscal reality.
A key House committee has given preliminary approval to a tax package
that would raise roughly $26 million, putting it on a collision course
with the governor because it includes provisions he opposes.
Lawmakers reconvene for the
second half of the legislative session on Tuesday. And, despite
budget woes and federal cuts, some of them are hoping to stay focused on a goal
set at the beginning of the session: fighting climate change and promoting
energy efficiency at the same time.
Critics of Governor Peter
Shumlin’s plans for a single payer health system charge his administration
studied how to pay for it, but then halted the work. The group Vermonters for
Health Care Freedom alleges the administration looked at a financing plan based
on new taxes but then stopped because of political concerns.
Each January, the governor delivers a speech to the Legislature that
outlines the spending priorities for the state, and what taxes are
necessary to support that plan. VPR brings you Governor Peter Shumlin’s
"budget address" live from the Statehouse.
Listen Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. on VPR and at VPR.net.