All the latest news, press releases, and commentary from Heidi E. Scheuermann.

March 3, 2016

As the Vermont Legislature breaks for Town Meeting Day recess after eight weeks of work, it is appropriate that we ask ourselves what we have accomplished for the people of Vermont in that time.

February 18, 2016

Jessica is a website developer.  After years of working for a company, she leaves that employ to open her own website development business.  After some time, she finds great success in obtaining contracts with various entities to do website design work.  One of these entities is her former employer.  That former employer contracts with her to do work on their website, newsletter, and blog.  The only direction she receives from that company is a deadline to get the job done, and the content that is to be used.  How and when the items are completed are her decisions. 

Do Vermonters know that because Jessica had done this type of work for her former employer in the past, she must be classified as an employee of the company now? 

Do Vermonters know that, although Jessica has hung her own shingle and contracts with several other entities, that she cannot be considered an independent contractor in this case?

This is the new dilemma we are facing as a state.

February 4, 2016

One month into the legislative session, with most school budgets already completed and ready for March Town Meeting Day, a legislative “fix” to the spending caps included in last year’s education reform law, Act 46, passed the House last week.  While Governor Shumlin and the Senate had preferred an all-out repeal of the allowable growth percentage provisions of Act 46, the final agreement increased that allowable percentage by .9%, and lowered the penalties for exceeding the percentage to 40% of every dollar spent over the threshold.

Meanwhile, the two issues with the new law about which I have heard most – the 900-pupil threshold in the Preferred Governance Structure defined in Act 46, and the impossibility of many communities that have enjoyed a long tradition of school choice to continue that tradition if they want to merge with another district – have yet to be discussed in any depth. 

I was, therefore, pleased to be invited into the House Education Committee to present two pieces of legislation I’ve introduced to address both of these challenges.