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The 2023 legislative session has been underscored by new and increased taxes and fees on both individuals and businesses, leading to $150 million of likely cost increases for Vermonters. This significant burden is particularly concerning given the ongoing economic pressures of high inflation…

In Vermont, coyotes are subject to hunting 365 days a year. Coyotes are killed any time, day or night, using high-tech, game-calling devices and thermal night scopes, oftentimes by brutal methods. We’ve seen photos posted by Vermont hunters displaying dead coyote pups strung from utility pol…

Al Wakefield is one of the originators of the Vermont Town Inclusion Agreement. And currently, among so many others, is actively involved in Vermont’s “welcoming and belonging” initiative.

The post-war period has been good to us here in Vermont. We didn’t have the riches of New York or California, but we had enough. Thinking we were more frugal, hardy sorts, Vermonters valued growing healthy children, dairy cows and a culture that accepted diversity of opinion. Fifty years ago…

One of the proven ways to tackle the climate change crisis is “electrifying everything.” From the cars we drive to how we heat our homes, we are moving away from polluting fossil fuels to electricity. Therefore, it is even more crucial that this electricity comes from cleaner, stably priced,…

While I do not meet the criteria for true Vermonter status, I have been in Vermont for … a good while, long enough to have witnessed dozens of spectacular foliage seasons and snowstorms. Yet, June holds a special place in my heart. Spring is in its full glory, with flowers in brilliant bloom…

In 10 short years, the United States will have more people older than 65 than those under 18. We will join Japan, Italy, Singapore and South Korea facing a weakened workforce, too few citizens to support their safety net for children and the elderly, and shuttered schools.

A bill is introduced in a state to tax citizens to support the teaching of the Christian religion. Opponents circulate a petition opposing the measure. The petition’s author says no politician is a competent judge of religious truth, every citizen has the right to religious freedom according…

In June, legislators will gather to make the final decision regarding Gov. Scott’s veto of the Legislature’s 2024 state budget. It’s rare that Vermont voters have the opportunity at a single point in time to provide guidance to those they’ve elected. Yet, Vermont fiscal history during the pa…

In the United States, there are currently 73 million baby boomers. Of course, this will not be true tomorrow, but I will use that number as a baseline. This year, the oldest boomers will turn 77 years old; the youngest will turn 60.

Most of our Legislature did not work hard this session, Democrat Rep. William Notte.

There was no sun in Mudville, as the mighty Gov. Phil Scott had struck out. After a herculean effort by the opposition to stop the implementation of S.5, the (Un)Affordable Heat Act, Scott’s veto was overridden. With members of the majority whipped into line to follow the herd, the few ratio…

‘Memorial Day honors the sacrifices made for a more peaceful world.”

Recently, I addressed the graduating classes of Castleton University, Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College. These are the institutions that will become Vermont State University in July. I welcomed the many thousands of guests who joined us to celebrate the achievements o…

One interest group fared extraordinarily well during the just-completed legislative session. That’s the interest group comprised of representatives and senators. Unlike other interest groups, who have to lobby legislators for the benefits they want, the legislators themselves get to vote on …

The other day, I noticed a heart-shaped, iridescent sticker at a local café that read: “Dump your Republican boyfriend.” My first reaction was, I wonder how the boyfriend would feel about that? My second reaction was astonishment at the immaturity, callousness and even cruelty embodied in su…

I’m feeling especially grumpy today, a perfect mood to complain once again about the overuse of pointless expressions in our everyday conversations.

What will happen with the debt ceiling is the most significant political story of the past few months. President Biden demands Republicans acquiesce to a “clean” debt limit increase. At the same time, Republicans seek lower spending to address the worsening national debt.

The United States is fast approaching the debt ceiling, an arbitrary and arcane cap on how much the government can borrow to pay its bills. If the ceiling doesn’t get lifted periodically, the country defaults and catastrophe follows.

Leaders at the G7 Summit this weekend in Japan (May 19-21) must take action to fight global hunger and jumpstart nuclear disarmament. The G7 includes the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

By definition: “A carbon tax is a tax levied on the carbon emissions required to produce goods and services.” Carbon taxes are intended to make visible the “hidden” social costs of carbon emissions. Businesses are encouraged to seek remedies to reduce the burden of paying the tax. Essentiall…

There is no doubt after reading John Snell’s commentary that his disdain for Hobby Lobby is visceral, so visceral he can’t even see the positive opportunities Hobby Lobby’s appearance at the Berlin Mall provides for so many citizens of central Vermont.

A week that included the Herald editorial “Good for all,” about Vermont’s progress toward diversity, equity and inclusion, and Gov. Scott’s bills to protect medication abortion and gender-affirming rights, was almost marred by the bad and the ugly.

When the Vermont House of Representatives took up the veto override of S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, I joined the majority of my colleagues to override this veto on a 107 to 42 vote.

Vermont has the opportunity to lead the nation in our response to the housing crisis by building housing for all. But instead, Vermont policymakers may cause a humanitarian disaster that threatens to undermine our collective recovery by passing a budget that evicts more than 2,800 individual…

Vermonters are proud of the COVID-19 response Dr. Anthony Fauci deemed a “model for the country.” This included efforts to protect those living and working in correctional facilities in Vermont — the only state not to lose an incarcerated individual or correctional officer to the virus.

There’s a looming threat facing Ukrainians, and it’s not Russian; it’s American. There’s a “fossil fuel gold rush” currently underway by American energy companies exploiting Russia’s war in Ukraine for gain. Under the guise of “liberating” Ukraine from a reliance on Russia’s dirty energy imp…

Union-busting is a tradition as old as organized labor. Historically, the managerial class attempts to disrupt and divide its workforce through stalling, intimidation and manipulation. The goal is for employees to return to their jobs as quickly as possible without management being forced to…

Only three years after red-tagging above-ground heating oil tanks for replacement to the tune of $1,800 to $2,400, S.5, aka the Clean Heat Act, aka the Affordable Heat Act, is adding another heating-related headache to Vermont households and buildings that requires the removal of heating oil…

Vermonters have long prized ingenuity, hard work and collaboration. We are stronger when we work together with our neighbors to tackle difficult challenges. From the uncertainties created by the lack of workforce housing to the steeply rising costs of health care. When we collaborate, we lev…

Personally, I do not want tax dollars going to private institutions to serve a select group of citizens/students. Many private schools are quality learning environments with caring individuals leading classrooms and institutions. However, they are in essence, if not by design, gated communit…

Where are the Hebrew prophets when we need them? They’re in the Bible that evangelicals call holy. They’re in the unconscious guilty conscience of Larry Liberal.