Although Vermont’s unemployment rate remains relatively low, the slow but steady drop in the number of Vermonters working continued for the fourth consecutive month. In June, the number of employed fell by 450; since February, that number has dropped by more than 1,700. June’s unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent in May. The change was not deemed statistically significant by the U.S.
A federal court case arising out of Vermont could have dramatic implications for state sovereignty and the ability of legislatures to regulate corporate activities within their borders. Nine states and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) are standing in support of the State of Vermont in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit. Vermont is appealing a controversial lower court ruling that, if upheld, would overturn decades of case law defining how courts determine legislatures’ “intent” and whether their actions are preempted by federal authority. Should Vermont lose, NCSL predicts a chilling effect in legislatures across the country and a move toward limiting public debate and open government.
This morning, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law a groundbreaking health care bill that puts his state on a path towards universal coverage for all residents. The legislation, H.202, sets Vermont on course to become the first state in the nation to implement a single-payer system, and had previously passed both the House and Senate chambers by significant margins.