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State Rep. Files Suit Against State of Vermont over Single-Payer Financing Plans

State Rep. Cynthia Browning (D-Arlington) is taking her public records fight to court.
MONTPELIER - State Rep. Cynthia Browning (D-Arlington) is taking her public records fight to court.

Browning filed an appeal against the Shumlin administration's denial of her FOIA request last month. She wants the Governor to produce documents and notes related to financing for Green Mountain Care, the universal healthcare system that became law under Act 48. It's set to go into effect in 2017.

Browning says Act 48 required Governor Shumlin to produce his financing plan for the healthcare overhaul to the legislature in January of 2013. He missed the deadline.

The administration's reason for denying her public records request was executive privilege.

"He owes these plans to Vermonters," said Browning. "My argument is that by setting a due date, the legislature essentially converted private plans into public plans. The Governor has no executive privilege to claim to keep them private."

Governor Shumlin has said while we wants to be transparent, he doesn't need to reveal every note or document in the course of his planning. He says he does not support a hard deadline to reveal his financing plan.

Meantime, the House is considering adding a new deadline to an updated bill about Green Mountain Care. The new deadline would be February of 2015. Shumlin says he will meet that deadline.

Browning is paying her own legal fees in the suit. It is expected to take a few months.
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