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Month: February 2021

New House bills: cops lose pensions for excessive force; raise income tax; limit cash bail; gun background checks; Legislature picks National Guard leader candidates – etc.

New House bills would take pension from cops found guilty of excessive force; create “Youth Council”; reduce cash bail; raise income tax; give Legislature nominating board control over candidates for National Guard leadership; increase water quality monitoring and reporting. Also – a bill for background checks on firearms.

Legislature looks at new school taxes, ignores performance review

The Vermont Tax Structure Commission has delivered its report, and its recommendations should trigger an intense debate. Switching public education support to the income tax and expanding the sales tax to include services will be very controversial. It’s regrettable that the legislature didn’t begin with a performance review, to decide what state government should be doing with $4.5 billion a year, and then address the tax structure needed to pay for it.

When James Bond hunted down a villain on Echo Lake in Vermont

When most of us think of fictional master British spy James “007” Bond, we might imagine the sun-drenched Riviera coast, nasty Karate-chopping villains, or strong female characters played by the likes of actresses Ursula Andress and Honor Blackman. What we probably don’t think about when imagining Mr. Bond is either Vermont’s Echo Lake or New York’s Lake George. Well, it’s time to rethink Secret Agent 007’s fictional espionage playground.