Unemployment rates shifting


I was excited to announce last week that Vermont employers, as well as Vermonters who are collecting unemployment, will both benefit from three changes to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program starting July 1, 2018. Due to the health of the unemployment insurance trust fund, the Department of Labor anticipates a reduction in the average UI tax rate paid by employers, […]

Government must be open


Every year, during Sunshine Week, we recommit ourselves to an essential premise of our democracy: Our government must be an open government. A government that hides from the people can never be a government of, by and for the people. Sunshine Week is a time to reflect on this principle, and to challenge ourselves to make our democracy ever more […]

Squelching creativity in ed funding


Over the past six weeks, the House Ways and Means Committee has diligently worked to produce a coherent bill to shift Education Fund spending from some people and districts to other people and districts, and erect a disincentive to excessive school district spending. This is a very intricate and difficult task that, frankly, probably 90 percent of the legislators don’t […]

The Morse/Davidian harmony

Burr’s Whittlin’s

Four decades ago, Betsy and myself as well as Rich and Shawn Davidian — all East Montpelierites — either engaged in some mighty strategic family planning or the stars were lined up in just the right way. Here’s our story: PJ Davidian and Robinson Morse were born in 1978. Then, Joey Davidian and Tommy Morse followed in 1980. Nothing striking […]

Step up or step down


The Washington Post recently reported that Trump’s Justice Department wants to repeal a 2016 pharmaceutical industry-pushed law, Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act (HR 471]), which stripped the DEA of its regulatory authority to stop suspicious opioid shipments to pill mills. Rep. Tom Marino (R-Penn.), who took tens of thousands of dollars from pharmaceutical companies at the time, […]

Common-sense protection


A s a teenager in the south end of Burlington, I spent summers and weekends stocking shelves, sorting bottles and sweeping up at Longe Brothers Market. I learned many life lessons at Longe’s, including “the customer is always right,” the values of fairness, common sense and the grace of giving back to community. I may be attorney general now, but […]

Open government is better


March 11-17 is Sunshine Week, a national celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community. All across Vermont new board members and other town and city officials are being sworn in and taking their seats for the first time. I am thankful for the many Vermonters willing to serve their communities and sacrifice […]

Containing Medicare costs


Vermont residents suffering from painful and chronic medical conditions stand to benefit from a federal rule change this year that would offer greater access to treatment for Medicare patients suffering from cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases. The new policy, which will open up the market for a type of medication known as biosimilars, could increase patient access to lifesaving care […]

Don’t force students to stay


Deciding whether and where to go to college is difficult for all students. For some, staying close to home is the best choice. For others, leaving their home state is ultimately the better option. I’m concerned the Vermont Legislature, which has a 50-year history of supporting grant portability, is considering eliminating it. The grant program provides vital financial aid to […]

Where fake news is found


A letter writer to the Times Argus on March 2 stated that President Trump stopped a mugging with a baseball bat in New York in 1991. The story has apparently been circulating on the internet via social media. The story is false. The story is based on a New York Daily News story. The original article (which can be viewed […]

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