State News

With less money, what is a priority?

Everyone is responsible for doing their part to stop this pandemic – wear a mask

By Sen. Dick McCormack

State Colleges

As everyone knows, the proposal to close three state colleges has been taken off the table, at least somewhat in response to public outrage. But the issue is far from settled. As I argued in my last report, maintaining our state colleges begs the question of where to find the money. To insist on keeping the colleges open, without suggesting a funding scheme, is crying crocodile tears. Similarly to oppose the necessary fundraising (a.k.a. taxes) while demanding the schools stay open is to propose a miracle. The Legislature will likely provide a “bridge,” an appropriation to keep the schools open for a year. Is this kicking the can down the road? Again? Or is it giving ourselves time to develop a real solution? Finally? We’ll see.

On a related issue, I’m sorry to see my friend and colleague Jeb Spaulding leave his position as chancellor. In fairness, he’s warned of this crisis for years. It’s not his fault.

Signing up for UI

There is no excuse for the mess with the Labor Department’s computers and phones. Some citizens have been trying for weeks to get through. The Labor Department assures us they’re doing all they can and that things will improve soon.

Front line workers

Everyone who is isolating is helping fight the pandemic. It’s a sacrifice, and it works. But some people go the extra mile, risking their own health and safety to protect others. The Senate has passed a bill to provide a bonus to a long list of front line Covid workers. They deserve it.


Unfortunately, outrageously, not everyone is with the anti-Covid effort. On my rare trips away from home, to pick up groceries curbside, or to drop off recycling at what I still call the Dump (I’m old school), I’m horrified at how many folks I see without face masks and not keeping 6 feet apart. Some are negligent and irresponsible. Some subscribe to an ideology that they have a God-given constitutional right to spread a deadly virus, a perverted distortion of liberty. (Our president is much to blame for that.)

I figure that folks intelligent and civic-minded enough to still be reading a local weekly in this time of cyber-nonsense are not the folks I’m complaining about. But I’m calling out to the good citizens to stop letting the virus-spreaders off the hook. This is not a difference of opinion about which we can politely agree to disagree. It’s science. It’s real. For many of our neighbors it’s a matter of life and death. So be polite, be friendly, but be clear. They’re not just risking their own health, they’re risking other people’s lives. They need to get smart and to clean up their act.

2 comments on “With less money, what is a priority?

  1. Dr. Dick McCormack should stick to advocating for the complete Marxist takeover of Vermont’s elected bodies. He has been very successful at that. Listening to Dick give medical advice about Covid 19 or any other disease could be hazardous to your health.

  2. Dick,

    Some people are Claustrophobic, some of us have been battered in the face so badly we have a fear of being suffocated. Some people feel sick, nauseous and panic in masks.
    Vendors delivering to stores have their masks below their noses and their pants below their buttocks.
    It may not be as simple as you think believing people who don’t wear masks are being selfish and uncaring, they may have deep seeded issues themselves. I am highly vulnerable and I can only wear my mask for 5 or 10 minutes and after that I have to worry not only about others but myself as well. It is not that I am uncaring or selfish, I have nobody else to shop for us.

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