Keeping an eye on IT

Keeping an eye on IT

Legislation dealing with money, whether it is raising it or spending it, is often contentious and always a challenge. When the state raises money through taxes and fees, we as taxpayers want to see that it is well spent. It should be used to promote the common good, be used efficiently, and accomplish the purpose… Read More »

New beginnings

New beginnings

By Rep. Mike Yantachka 1/11/2017 As I drove to Montpelier last week, I felt excited by the prospect of the changes that would be taking place in Vermont’s government, changes that would offer new challenges as well as new opportunities. The 2016 election produced a sweeping change of leadership in Montpelier, from the governor and… Read More »

Towns get more say in energy siting

by Rep. Mike Yantachka 2015 saw an increase in solar arrays springing up across the Vermont countryside. This was occurring as developers and landowners became more active in seeking opportunities to take advantage of Vermont’s incentives for net metering of renewable energy. These incentives promote Vermont’s goal of obtaining 90% of its energy needs from… Read More »

Education Funding and Property Taxes

by Rep. Mike Yantachka A little over a month ago at Town Meeting we voted for our town budget, our local CCS school budget and our CVU budget. Together these budgets will determine the amount of spending that our property taxes will be based on. By far, the largest portion of those taxes will go… Read More »

Managing our forests

By Rep. Mike Yantachka Vermont’s forests are vital for humans and the ecosystem. They protect water, soil and air quality and provide rural jobs and a multitude of useful forest products, as well as flood protection. When European settlers first came to Vermont, the land was almost completely forested. Settlement led to clearing 80% of… Read More »

Divestment, Voting and Protection

Rep. Mike Yantachka As I write this the weekend before Town Meeting, I’m looking forward to one of the great New England traditions where voters can get together in an exercise of direct democracy to make decisions affecting their local government. It gives me a chance to talk to constituents and find out what’s on… Read More »

Entrepreneurial success from working lands

by Representative Mike Yantachka Results Based Accountability (RBA) is an assessment method the legislature is using to evaluate the effectiveness of state government programs. Each House committee has been asked to review programs under its jurisdiction based on three questions: How much did we do? How well did we do it? Is anyone better off?… Read More »

Parliamentary procedure and politics

By Rep. Mike Yantachka Act 46 was crafted last year to address the realities of increasing education costs due to declining enrollment and a 130-year-old structure of governance. In many parts of Vermont implementation has been an overwhelming success. But for some it was clear that the cost containment threshold provisions weren’t working as intended.… Read More »

Seeking Accountability

By Rep. Mike Yantachka First, here’s an update on effects of the spending cap or threshold on school budgets in Act 46. Action to address this is progressing in both the House and Senate, although the approaches are different. Whether the spending threshold is increased by 0.9%, as proposed by the House, or whether they… Read More »

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