Butch Shaw

Recent Posts

House advances ethics commission

MONTPELIER — The House has approved creation of an ethics commission to oversee political entities in Vermont following a lengthy debate on the floor. The bill, S.8, was passed on a voice vote after about two hours of debate Monday. Some lawmakers raised concerns about having to disclose certain information, particularly the sources of income of spouses or domestic partners. Rep. Maida Townsend, D- South Burlington, chairwoman of the House Government Operations Committee, told her colleagues Vermont is among a small group of states that do not have a central ethics policy or an ethics commission. She said Hawaii became the first to enact such measures in 1968. Continue Reading →

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Lawmakers question refugee plans

MONTPELIER — Rutland City’s mayor says the 100 Syrian refugees coming to the city could be just the first round, even as lawmakers from the county expressed their displeasure for being left out of the loop. Mayor Chris Louras surprised many people Tuesday when he announced the city would begin taking in refugees in October. On Wednesday, Louras spoke with Rutland County’s senators and representatives about the resettlement plans, and offered an apology of sorts for keeping lawmakers in the dark, while at the same time saying he didn’t regret his actions. “There had to be conversations for which this many public officials could not be involved, and while I appreciate many of you feeling blindsided — and man, I’d feel blindsided too, if I were you — I’m owning it,” Louras told the dozen or so assembled lawmakers. “However, sometimes information needs to be controlled during a review process and during a decision-making process,” Louras said. Continue Reading →

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House advances paid sick leave bill

MONTPELIER — A bill to provide workers with paid sick time cleared the House Wednesday after majority Democrats defeated several attempts by Republicans to delay action on the measure. After hours of debate, the chamber voted 76 to 66 in favor of providing earned sick time to most employees in Vermont. The bill would allow workers to earn a maximum of three days of paid time during the first two years of employment before increasing to five days. Those benefits would be available to workers after they put in 1,400 hours of work or after a year’s time with a company, whichever comes first. Under the legislation, workers would be able to take paid time off that they have accrued for sickness, to care for a sick person in their care or even to care for children when there is a snow day at school. Continue Reading →

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