$300,000 in NEA Donations Could Cost Taxpayers $100 Million

by Rob Roper

Governor Phil Scott proposed what should be an absolute no-brainer policy change that would save Vermont property taxpayers $26 million next year and more than $100 million over the next five years – all while holding teachers’ benefits and local school budgets harmless.

Scott’s idea is to create a statewide teacher contract for health insurance. This is only possible because the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires that this November all teachers move out of their “Cadillac” plans and into a Vermont Health Connect plan. In other words, everybody’s contract is uniquely up for renegotiation at the same time. It is a one-time chance with a small window of opportunity.

Currently, health insurance benefits are negotiated locally and separately by scores of school boards. Under Scott’s proposal, all teachers would negotiate for healthcare benefits through the state. The School Boards Association is on board. The Superintendents Association is on board. Taxpayers should be ecstatic.

But the NEA is opposed. Why? Because they and their lawyers make a lot of money handling all of those local negotiations, and they don’t want that gravy train to end. And, the NEA spent $300,000 in the last election cycle, mostly on members of the majority party in the legislature, so, majority leadership is doing the NEA’s bidding and refusing to move forward.

This is… well, I can’t write what this is.

Property taxes relief has been and is the biggest issue on Vermonters minds and wallets over the past two decades. A $100 million fix over five years is a lot of money, and the fact that these saving can be realized without causing harm to student programs or teacher benefits is miraculous. Put your special interest campaign money aside and make it happen!

– Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gerry Malavenda April 28, 2017 at 10:13 am

Just like I’ve always said. It’s not about the kids, it’s about control and money.

Reply

Guy Brigida April 28, 2017 at 11:14 am

Property tax relief is always on everyones mind. When was the last time anyones taxes went down? Never. I would bet most people think that they pay way too much and that governments do not have their interests in mind. Sad but true. All states should adopt a policy to help taxpayers save money on taxes by being prudent with the money. Agencies like the NEA should be ashamed and if nothing else, taken out of the loop. People like that only have their own interests in mind. Out country would be much better off with out groups such as this.
Thank you for the information. This could be a good start for taxpayers everywhere.

Reply

Jim Bulmer April 28, 2017 at 9:30 pm

The fact that the NEA is opposed to this concept makes a great idea into a SUPER one. Cudos to our new governor. At last we have someone who is looking out for the folks.

Reply

Mike seely April 28, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Hate all teachers union, esp. vermont’s. They thwart progress at every turn.

Reply

Mike Powers May 1, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Joe can the democracy’s in the house and senate justify this stance other than to say politics as usual. This arbitrary and petty action points out the power that the NEA has over it’s vassals in the house and senate. A truly out of order decision indicating a lack of backbone and very poor judgement.

Reply

Mike Powers May 1, 2017 at 2:52 pm

First sentence in my post should read “How can the democrats”

Reply

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
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