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 »

Word in the House: Health care after single-payer

Word in the House: Health care after single-payer

By Rep. Mike Yantachka Since Governor Shumlin abandoned plans for establishing a universal health care system, popularly known as a single-payer system, the House Health Care Committee has been trying to improve the system we currently have. Vermont Health Connect continues to have operational issues with regard to processing change of circumstance filings, and the… Read More »