It was a busy spring in Vermont politics. Governor Phil Scott vetoed the state budget on June 6th because it did not include a plan to restructure teacher contract negotiations. He said the plan would save property taxpayers statewide $26 million. State leaders had until July 1st to reach a compromise to avoid a state shutdown. A solution was reached before the legislature’s veto session on June 21st , and the governor signed the budget three days before deadline. It includes no new taxes or fees. In the first of a two-part interview, first-term Republican Governor Phil Scott says he and agency commissioners and department heads began working on the budget as soon as he was elected in November.
Earlier this month, Colchester Police Chief Jennifer Morrison became the first woman to be elected president of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police. There is only one other female police chief in the state — at the University of Vermont Police Department. Morrison says the 51-year-old organization has not been led by a woman before because there have been so few female police chiefs in the state.
Today is the second anniversary of the end of one of the largest manhunts in New York history — when officials captured the second of two men who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. The episode led to convictions, inquiries and calls for security reforms.
The Empire Professional Baseball League is in its first season of play. It has four teams – the Old Orchard Beach Surge from Maine, the Sullivan Explorers from Loch Sheldrake, New York, the Puerto Rico Islanders and the Plattsburgh RedBirds. During spring exhibition play, the Plattsburgh team defeated all its competitors. This week, rain postponed opening day, but the 60-game season began on Sunday. Team co-owner and League CEO Eddie Gonzales explains that the league provides athletes an opportunity they may not otherwise have.
Canada Day is July 1st and this year the country is celebrating its 150th Anniversary of Confederation. On Saturday, Quebec Culture Specialist and Foreign Language Consultant David Graham will lead a discussion in Plattsburgh on Canadian history. He says he will look at the country’s history from Quebec’s perspective because that province is an essential part of Canada’s history.
Vermont environmental, municipal and state officials were at the ECHO Center for Lake Champlain this week to announce the launch of a new coalition to help bridge the environmental chasm caused when President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.
Legalized marijuana in Vermont will have to wait again. Among the vetoed legislation that the legislature reviewed during its special session on Wednesday was a bill to allow the use of marijuana by adults. While the state Senate overturned the veto, the House refused to reverse the governor’s decision.
Lawmakers headed back to Montpelier Wednesday as the Vermont Legislature met for a special veto session. After a long day of twists and turns, the House and Senate eventually approved the 2018 state budget, which includes an adjusted teacher health care deal that the governor wanted included in the fiscal plan.