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

By Spencer Conlin,

The House adjourned after the 69-74 vote, but will take up another amendment Thursday that would allow for some of the districts to delay a merger.

The amendment that failed Wednesday was proposed by Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, R- Lamoille-1. It came after several school districts filed lawsuits, challenging the mergers under the state Act 46 education law.

The communities being forced to merge are all in very different situations and at various points in the merger process," Scheuermann said. "In order to ensure confidence in both the law and the process, it is imperative that we are given more time."

By Lola Duffort,

The Vermont House of Representatives narrowly rejected a plan Wednesday to give a one-year extension to all school districts facing forced mergers under Act 46.

But House lawmakers, who voted 69-74 against a blanket delay, will take up another proposal Thursday giving certain districts extra time.

Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe, who sponsored the legislation asking for a simple one-year delay, said that while she would have preferred another outcome, she was glad at least the partial delay proposal looks likely to pass.

“It was close. It was very close. We were almost there. But we’re going to have something that we can use as a vehicle to continue to pursue this,” she said.


By David Delcore, Rutland Herald/Times Argus

Scheuermann was among those who expressed reservations about what some viewed as a “divide-and-conquer” proposal.

Though Scheuermann said she appreciated the fact that her home district — Stowe — would receive an extra year to complete a forced merger with the Elmore-Morristown district, the exclusion of other districts was problematic in her view.

“I think it would be a hard sell on the floor to give that opportunity to some districts and not others,” she said.

By the time it was over, a clear majority of the committee backed the amendment that Webb said sets the stage for back-to-back floor votes Wednesday.

The new amendment, which was approved, 7-4, won’t replace the one proposed by Scheuermann, but it will be offered as an alternative if Scheuermann’s fails.

Webb said Scheuermann’s amendment would be considered first and the one that enjoys the committee’s favorable recommendation will be voted on in the event it fails. If both amendments are rejected, the July 1 deadline written into Act 46 nearly four years ago would remain in tact pending judicial intervention or additional legislation.