Commentary

Commentary: The Coming Report on Expanding Act 250 (January, 2019)

by John McClaughry Two years ago the legislature created a six-member commission to assess the fifty years of experience with Vermont’s Land Use Control Act and “assess, to the extent feasible, the positive and negative outcomes of Act 250’s implementation from 1970 to 2017.” The commission was charged with developing legislation for consideration in 2019. […]

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Here Comes the Carbon Tax Again

January 2, 2019 By John McClaughry The carbon tax warriors are promoting yet another version of “carbon pricing”. This new version is the “Transportation and Climate Initiative” (TCI), promoted in nine Northeastern states by the Georgetown (University Law School) Climate Center. A December 19 report by Mark Johnson in Vermont Digger described the TCI as […]

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Commentary: Absentee Ballots Undermine the Secret Ballot – And Election Integrity (December, 2018)

By Rob Roper The North Carolina congressional race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready could be heading for a re-vote because it appears absentee ballot fraud may have influenced the outcome. Harris is ahead by around 900 votes, but the suspicion of fraud arose from fact that he received an improbably high percentage […]

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Commentary: A Sensible Agenda for Vermont Democrats (December, 2018)

By John McClaughry Vermont’s Republican governor can no longer expect to have a veto sustained by one third of either body, at least on any issue of crucial importance to the political base of the Democratic/Prog legislative leadership. What, then, would be the best possible outcome of the next two years? To some – like […]

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Commentary: That Really Scary Climate Report (December, 2018)

by John McClaughry On November 23 the U.S Government ‘s Global Climate Research Program delivered a Congressionally-mandated “National Climate Assessment” report. “Grim” is too weak an adjective for the terrors that the Report describes. Here’s an attempt to summarize the document: The earth is steadily getting hotter. “Human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are […]

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Commentary: Refocusing on Vermont After the National Election (November, 2018)

By Rob Roper A recent post-election news story contained this quote from a Middlebury voter that, from what I observed, captures the broad reality of where people’s heads have been: “I’ve been so focused on the federal government, I don’t know what’s going on in Vermont.” (VT Digger, 11/7/18) Well, here’s some of what’s been […]

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Commentary: Legislative Preview for 2019 (November, 2018)

By John McClaughry The Vermont Digger headline a day after the elections well captured the enthusiasm of the newly elected legislative majorities: “Democratic supermajority comes with sky-high expectations”.  The final House tally was 102 Democrats and Progressives, 43 Republicans, and five independents. The Senate will be 24-6. Both chambers now have the 2/3 majorities needed to override any […]

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Commentary: Will Credit Rating Downgrade Spark Pension Reform?(October, 2018)

By Rob Roper On October 23, Moody’s, the investors credit service, downgraded Vermont’s bond rating from AAA to Aa1. This has significant implications for the state’s ability to borrow money and the cost of doing so. The reasons Moody’s cited for the downgrade were “low growth prospects from an aging population,” and “debt and unfunded […]

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Commentary: ESSEX Carbon Tax Carnage (October, 2018)

By David Flemming A few months ago, Paul Burns of VPIRG proclaimed that “the ESSEX Plan (would make) the wealthiest and large corporations (to) pay their fair share as Vermont’s biggest polluters– while low- to moderate-income Vermonters would save money.” Call me skeptical, but a plan to tax everyday Vermonters in order to subsidize large companies like Ben […]

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Commentary: The Big Hammer to Force Everyone to Buy Health Insurance (October, 2018)

by John McClaughry The 2018 legislature, alarmed by the repeal by Congress of the Obamacare tax on persons who failed to buy government-approved health insurance, decided to impose a state mandate to do the same thing, to take effect for the 2019 insurance year. But the legislature balked at announcing the penalty needed to enforce […]

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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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Latest News

Paid Family Leave Hits an Ethical Snag

April 19, 2019 By David Flemming Those Vermont legislators committed to paid family leave regardless of cost could soon be faced with an unenviable choice. They can either...

Roll Call! House Allows Non-Citizen Voting in Montpelier (95-46), 2019

 . H.207 – AN ACT RELATING TO APPROVAL OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF MONTPELIER REGARDING NON-CITIZEN VOTING IN CITY ELECTIONS.  . PASSED in...

What is “Moral Government?”

April 18, 2019 by Rob Roper There has been a steady stream of testimony over the past two years on the proposed $15 minimum wage and the mandatory...

Tax Day. Thank the Rich!

April 15, 2019 It’s income tax day! And, as such, it makes sense to take a look at who is paying what in Vermont for support of our...

Roll Call! Senate Votes to Expand “Pay to Move” Program (27-2), 2019

. S.162 – AN ACT RELATING TO PROMOTING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT . PASSED in the State Senate on April 12, 2019 by a vote of 27-2  . Purpose: To benefit economic development by...

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