The Informed Vermonter provides a factual account of the government of the State of Vermont. It begins with the Vermont State constitution, reviews the three branches of government and describes the purpose and programs of every major state government department. It also provides important information regarding the economic performance of the state.
A key focus of The Informed Vermonter is the fiscal position of the state government. Exactly where the state gets its revenues and where that money is spent is outlined in both summary form and on a department-by-department basis.
The website also tries to put Vermont state government programs in perspective by comparing them to other states and the USA as a whole. Whether Vermont is spending much more or much less on any particular program is a key consideration throughout.
The Informed Vermonter is a non-profit website with a simple objective. It seeks to help Vermont’s citizens become better informed so they can be more discerning voters.
The website relies principally on primary government reports and information. Reputable secondary sources are used to a lesser extent. Throughout the website, the sources of information will be made clear.
The Informed Vermonter does not suggest or recommend any changes or alterations to the policies or programs of the State of Vermont. Whether taxes are too high or too low or spending on any particular program is too much or too little are judgments that are left entirely up to readers.
The website seeks to reach a balance between being informative and highly readable. The objective is to summarize important information, not to elaborate in detail.
What to Expect
The Informed Vermonter will post new information every several days in reasonably short, readable bite sizes. A series of posts will be released covering the following topics in the following order:
- Government Structure
- Key Facts & Figures
- Revenues and Expenditures
- Human Services
- Protection to Persons & Property
- Natural Resources
- Commerce & Community Development
- Vermont Employee Retirement Benefits
- Debt & Other Liabilities
- Act 250
- Campaign Finance
- General Government
The website will follow the audit cycle for the state government (The Informed Vermonter likes audited information), with all the initial information based on the audit for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016. Going forward, the information will be updated for successive audits. Other information, such as major changes in federal government programs that effect Vermont, will also be included from time to time.