November 9 presentations

Thank you to those who attended the Act 46 information session Rep. Ann Manwaring and I hosted on November 6th in Wilmington. Rep. Dave Sharpe, Chair of the Vermont House of Representatives Committee on Education presented. Links to his presentation here.

This meeting was also videotaped – I will send out a link once available. Representatives from the public and boards were present from Dummerston, Dover, Marlboro, Readsboro, Searsburg, Stamford, Whitingham, Wilmington and Twin Valley. Many accepted the invitation to update the broader region about how they were approaching trying to implement this law in their communities. My sincere thanks for giving voice to our areas collective efforts. After the meeting Rep. Sharpe noted that it was particularly helpful to hear this information from the various boards.

Many thanks to WSSU Superintendent Chris Pratt, WCSU Board Chair Rich Werner and Bob Edwards for providing logistical support for the meeting.

Please note I have posted a page on my website with information on Act 46, “an act relating to making amendments to education funding, education spending, and education governance” and added both of these links there.

This session it is likely we will be addressing concerns and making possible clarifications with regard to “sharing economy” business models like AirBnB and Uber. I have already been contacted by some traditional Bed and Breakfast owners outside of our area with a request to look at the taxing and regulation of those taking the opportunity to participate in the sharing economy. I’d also like to hear from folks in our area who have an interest in this conversation, and I’m working with the Southern Vermont Deerfield Valley chamber to set up a round table discussion. Please send me an email if you would like to participate.

On December 1st the Vermont Legislature will gather for a briefing on the upcoming legislative session. State agencies have been asked by the Administration to submit level funded budgets. The expansion in medicaid eligibility from both the federal and state healthcare reform initiatives has not come with any new funding to pay for those newly eligible. It appears we will again be looking at very high gaps between revenue available and projected spending. Here is a refresher on where we ended up with last year’s budget.

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