Kiah Morris

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Scott signs racial justice bill into law

MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott signed legislation into law Wednesday that looks to advance racial justice reforms in the state. The bill, H.308, which was passed by lawmakers earlier this month, aims to address racial disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice system. It creates a new, 13-member advisory panel within the office of the attorney general that will provide recommendations to address racial disparities in both the criminal and juvenile justice system around the state. Additionally, the Attorney General’s Office and the Human Rights Commission are tasked with developing a strategy to address racial disparities within various state systems, including education, labor and employment, housing, healthcare and economic development. Finally, the new law requires the Criminal Justice Training Council to review the state’s fair and impartial policing policing to ensure it is in compliance with federal law. Continue Reading →

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Democrats propose hike to minimum wage

MONTPELIER — House Democrats rolled out a proposal Wednesday to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022, laying the groundwork for a significant showdown with Republican Gov. Phil Scott who made clear during the fall campaign that he opposes such an increase. House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski, D-Burlington, laid out the proposal at a State House news conference Wednesday. Under the Democratic proposal, which has nearly 50 co-sponsors so far, the hourly minimum wage would remain at $10.50 in 2018 before increasing to $11.50, $12.50, $13.50 and then $15 on Jan. 1 of each subsequent year. After 2022 the wage would rise by the lesser amount of 5 percent or the increase in the Consumer Price Index. Continue Reading →

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