Democratic lawmaker says Vermont’s single-payer health care plan has already flatlined

By   /  March 17, 2014  /  Economy, Health Care, Legislature, State Government, State House, State Politics, Top State News, Vermont  /  No Comments

Rep. Jim Condon, a Democrat, urges his own party to forget single-payer efforts in Vermont

By Jon Street | Vermont Watchdog
BURLINGTON, Vt. – In 2011, while the rest of America argued the merits of the president’s Affordable Care Act, Vermont jumped the progressive curve, promising to launch the nation’s first health single-payer system, in which state government pays providers to care for all residents.
Now, even Democrats say that plan, called Green [...]

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Conflict of interest? VT lawmaker casts vote on employer-lobbied bill

By   /  February 12, 2014  /  Accountability, Energy and Environment, Ethics, Issues, Legislature, Lobbying, News, Politics, State Government, State House, State Lobbying, State Politics, Top State News, Transparency, Vermont  /  No Comments

RAISING THE BAR: Advocates push for ethics reform after Rep. Mike McCarthy denies "conflict of interest" vote

Rep. Mike McCarthy says a recent vote is not a conflict of interest, although one report suggests McCarthy’s employer lobbied for the proposed legislation several months ago.

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Less is more: ‘Shortage of staff’ at DOC cost Vermont taxpayers millions

By   /  December 18, 2013  /  Accountability, Budget and Spending, Corrections, Finances, Health Care, News, State Budgets, State Government, Top State News, Vermont, Wasteful spending  /  No Comments

LESS IS MORE: "Staff shortage" at DOC cost Vermont taxpayers an extra $4.1 million in prison health care costs

By Jon Street | Vermont Watchdog
BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont taxpayers will lose out on $4.1 million this year, and it’s all because the Department of Corrections had one less employee keeping an eye on the budget, says the state’s director of health services.
Vermont’s director of health services says the reason there was a $4.1 million shortfall [...]

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Have At It: What should the DNR have done about Giggles?

By   /  August 5, 2013  /  News, Top State News, Wisconsin  /  31 Comments

NEW POLICY : Wisconsin officials are proposing policy changes for dealing with captured wildlife in the wake of Giggles the fawn's capture and euthanization last month. Photo courtesy of WISN.

Part 2 of 3 in the series Have At It

By Kirsten Adshead | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON — No one’s laughing over Giggles.
You know that scene in “Bambi” in which he and his mom are running from the evil Man and, suddenly, she’s gone, and then you — and Bambi — realize she’s been killed and, well, [...]

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With convention over, VA GOP has big job ahead

By   /  May 18, 2013  /  News, State Government, Top State News, Virginia  /  No Comments

E.W. JACKSON: Getting the cold shoulder from two congressmen.

By Carten Cordell and Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau
 
RICHMOND—One look at the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday provided the portrait of a divided Virginia GOP.
After nine hours and four ballot-narrowing voting cycles, the camps of 10 different candidates vying for state office trekked out of the coliseum with a clear picture of the ballot, but an uncertain [...]

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Kansas court orders lawmakers to find $400 million more for schools

By   /  January 11, 2013  /  Education, Finances, Kansas, News, State Government, Top State News  /  No Comments

LETTER OF THE LAW: Three Shawnee County District Court judges have ruled the state's current school funding formula unconstitutional, and have ordered legislators to inject an additional $400 million into Kansas schools. The ruling is expected to be appealed to the Kansas State Supreme Court.

A panel of three Shawnee County District Court judges ruled the state’s current school funding formula unconstitutional Friday, prompting praise and criticism from education officials and legislators. The panel, led by Judge Franklin Theis, ruled that state lawmakers cannot reduce the school funding rate below $4,492 per pupil. The current funding rate is $3,838 per pupil.

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