In the News

By Caleigh Cross, Stowe Reporter

https://www.vtcng.com/stowetoday/stowe_reporter/news/local_news/vermont-s-state-tourism-budget-needs-a-boost/article_6d8fd960-5c63-11e9-9aff-934965613c9e.html

There's a lot of skepticism in Montpelier with regard to investing in tourism marketing.  We have a lot of work to do.  Out goal is to pass a bill next year that will put into place this dedicated fund," she (Scheuermann) said.

By Howard Weiss-Tisman, Vermont Public Radio

https://www.vpr.org/post/school-districts-fighting-act-46-mergers-inch-toward-meeting-states-final-deadline

Some of that guidance might come from Montpelier, where lawmakers are trying to hammer out a compromise that would give merging districts a little time to work out some of the details.

Stowe Rep. Heidi Scheuermann sponsored H.39 and hopes the Legislature passes a bill this session.

“I knew, clearly, that it was going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do any substantive legislative changes to Act 46. It just was not going to happen,” Scheuermann said. “But at the same time, if we’re going to be forced to merge we need this extra time to do it right, to do it well, and to ensure our communities understand everything that’s going on and are committed to whatever direction we’re going to go in.”

By Neal Goswami, WCAX

https://www.wcax.com/content/news/Tourism-industry-calls-for-state-to-invest-in-marketing-508071181.html

Vermonters in the tourism industry want lawmakers to invest in marketing the state.

It was part of a new Tourism Day organized by Stowe Rep. Heidi Scheuermann. She says her goal is to help lawmakers understand the importance of tourism here.

By Xander Landen, VTDigger.org

https://vtdigger.org/2019/03/26/house-votes-double-fuel-tax-fund-low-income-home-weatherization/

Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe, said low-income renters will likely bear the brunt of the new costs from landlords who will pass them on to tenants.

“Some people will certainly take advantage of this but they will generally be homeowners, low and middle income homeowners,” Scheuermann said. “But it will be paid in large part by low-income renters.”

By Lola Duffort, VTDigger.org

https://vtdigger.org/2019/03/26/senate-passes-bill-allowing-school-districts-delay-act-46-mergers-year/

At least one group, however, likes the bill: officials with the Stowe, and Elmore-Morristown school districts. The two districts, which are under order from the State Board of Education to merge, have challenged that decision in court. Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe, introduced H.39, which asked for the delay in the first place.

But while Stowe and Elmore-Morristown have resisted merging, they’ve taken a noticeably different tack than the majority of school districts fighting consolidation. Stowe and Elmore-Morristown sued separately from the 33 school boards jointly challenging mergers in court. And they’ve also worked to create a merged board – as well as independent boards and independent budgets – in case the court case doesn’t go their way.

By Lola Duffort, VTDigger.org

https://vtdigger.org/2019/03/11/following-ruling-education-agency-urges-districts-start-merger-work/

“Barring a change in the law, which at this time is speculative, a district’s or group of districts’ failure to use the time remaining between now and June 30, 2019 will result in serious consequences to students and staff,” states a memo issued by the agency late on Friday.

By Josh O'Gorman, News and Citizen and Stowe Reporter

https://www.stowetoday.com/news_and_citizen/news/local_news/lawmakers-awaiting-court-decision-on-act/article_7064568c-35f5-11e9-8c65-dbb19be68f9f.html

On Friday, the case was heard by Judge Robert Mello in St. Albans, who told the parties that he would offer a ruling “as soon as I possibly can.”

During the nearly two-hour hearing, Assistant Attorney General Jon Alexander pointed to the fact that Elmore-Morristown and Stowe are not plaintiffs in the case — the districts are preparing parallel budgets, for merger and nonmerger — as evidence the injunction is not needed.

Scheuermann took issue with that argument.

“The attorney general’s office doesn’t understand the complications this has placed on our communities. It is disingenuous to suggest that this is an easy route,” Scheuermann said. “From my conversations with people out in the public, trying to get the general public up to date on issues of importance, this is confusing. The voter experience over the next four months will be really challenging. You’re going to be asking people to vote on things they don’t understand.”

By Josh O'Gorman, News and Citizen and Stowe Reporter

https://www.stowetoday.com/stowe_reporter/news/local_news/house-gives-approval-to-act-timeline-extension/article_9b1a8e6c-307f-11e9-9632-dfd197c1ef74.html

The wheels of lawmaking might turn slowly, but the Elmore-Morristown and Stowe school districts are one step closer to receiving a delay in their forced merger.

House lawmakers gave overwhelming support last Thursday to a bill that would push out the deadline for some school districts — including Elmore-Morristown and Stowe — that the State Board of Education has ordered to merge.

Currently, Act 46 requires district mergers to take effect no later than July 1 of this year; however, on a vote of 134-10, lawmakers gave their approval to H.39, which would extend that deadline by one year for districts that never held a vote to merge.

The bill included an amendment developed by the House Education Committee; it’s a compromise to the bill introduced by Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe, that called for a blanket one-year extension on the merger timeline.

On Feb. 6, House lawmakers narrowly defeated Scheuermann’s proposal, 74-69.

By David Declore, Rutland Herald/Times Argus

https://www.rutlandherald.com/news/local/house-passed-bill-upholds-act-deadline-for-some/article_1e6e2033-1958-57bd-91fb-bbf65778ca83.html

House lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a bill that would give some school districts ordered to merge under Act 46 an extra year to prepare for that transition, while requiring others to heed the July 1 deadline that was written into the law four years ago.

Less than 24 hours after narrowly rejecting a “blanket extension” requested by a tri-partisan coalition of lawmakers led by Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe, the House approved a Solomonesque solution designed to give some districts more time to consummate their state-ordered mergers.