Paul Heintz

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Watch: Vermont PBS’ Vermont This Week

Vermont Press Bureau chief Neal Goswami joins the panel on Vermont PBS’ Vermont This Week. HEADLINES:
Syrian Resettlement Opens Vermont Divide
Smith Ends Campaign for GovernorSanders Defines Democratic Socialism
Marijuana Legalization Bill Taking Shape
Lawmakers Consider Revising Act 46
Swanton Voters Reject Turbines
PANEL:
Stewart Ledbetter, Moderator
Paul Heintz, Seven Days
Neal Goswami, Vermont Press Bureau
Robin Smith, Caledonian Record Continue Reading →

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Tobacco stance puts Sorrell on list of bad AGs

illiam Sorrell is among the worst attorneys general in the United States, according to a report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Sorrell has received a fair amount of scrutiny of late, following a deep-dig story from Paul Heintz of Seven Days which uncovered a number of emails that indicate the possibility of campaign finance violations. Heintz’s investigation of Sorrell followed an investigation by Sorrell into the campaign of Dean Corren, a progressive who ran for lieutenant governor in 2014. Following Heintz’s story, Sorrell — who is tasked with investigating campaign finance violations — declined to investigate himself, saying he knew he hadn’t done anything wrong. This apparent conflict of interest led Gov. Peter Shumlin to appoint an independent investigator to look into Sorrell’s campaign finance practices, and has led Sen. Anthony Pollina to call for the creation of an ethics commission. Continue Reading →

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Administration makes scathing case against its own proposal

The most damning argument yet against the Shumlin administration’s plan to cap welfare benefits has come from, well, the Shumlin administration. In his budget address last month, Gov. Peter Shumlin said “Reach Up” benefits, as they’re called, should be “temporary,” not “timeless.” He said the state should cap lifetime benefits at five years, a move that would save the state an estimated $6 million in fiscal year 2014. But as is being reported today by VTDigger’s Alicia Freese and Seven Days’ Paul Heintz, the administration took a hard look at an identical proposal in 2012, and pretty much condemned it. As Freese noted, a January report signed off on by Commissioner of Children and Families Dave Yacavone – the same guy urging lawmakers to adopt the plan now – concluded that capping benefits at 60 months “could leave families destitute and at risk and will create a large hole in the fabric of Vermont’s safety net for those most in need.”

In a passage pulled by Heintz, the report says that “the families who would be affected by this cut have three times as many barriers to gaining self-sufficiency as the general Reach Up caseload population.”

“They are families with limited abilities and resources to recover from such a loss. The elimination of their financial assistance may put their children at risk and force a cost shift to other programs.”

For the full stories, head over to http://vtdigger.org/2013/02/06/shumlin-proposal-on-welfare-work-requirements-rebutted-by-2012-report/ and http://7d.blogs.com/offmessage/2013/02/reach-up-beneficiaries-push-back-on-shumlins-proposed-cuts.html

  Continue Reading →

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