Feeling the wind within their self-contained, microclimate, legislators often confuse these currents with the weather outside the dome. As a result, they establish new laws to satisfy the demands of political leadership, ambition, button-hooking lobbyists, constituents, campaign contributors, and their own proclivities. Arguably education must weather the greatest onslaught of these tempests. The Vermont Legislative Council listed 231 new education requirements from 1997 to 2007. Listing these mandates took 37 pages. Allergies, family leave, bullying, home schoolers, criminal record checks, hazing, school lunches, air quality, book-keeping, etc.virtually nothing has escaped legislators need for a fix. And these do not include highly regulated areas such as state aid, buildings, special education and standardized testing. Every time a bill is passed and signed into law, a new cost is added to education. Ironically, the same people who spent 2007 blaming schools for their out of control spending are the authors of the new and costly mandates. Yet the massive multitude of mandates is only a part of the problem. Fixes to older laws make simple matters complex and harder to administer. Previously, the school calendar law took a half-page of the law book. This straightforward law was replaced with pages of a restrictive mandate. As a result, the appointed committee was unable to recommend a calendar that would work. The new early education law was to improve the quality of programs; ironically it will cause some schools to reduce programs. Also, expensive and bureaucratic accreditation processes add new costs to taxpayers. The state department has sent memoranda to the field noting that sections of the law are impossible to implement. In Laws Limits, Neil Komesar notes the forces that call for protection by more law cause a deterioration of the laws ability to function. As Vermonts education laws inexorably expand, the flexibility of the system to adapt to new circumstances evaporates. State policymakers attempt to fix the system by passing more laws. The apparent legislatively induced deep freeze reached a benchmark in Act 82 with the think twice law. This lawrequiring two votes on above average, above inflation school budgetswas passed on an end-of-session Saturday night without prior study or deliberation. According to some observers, the legislature did little about the true cost-drivers such as health care, special education, fuel costs and an aging teaching force. They punished the victims of their ineptitude. The trend toward out-of-control, one size-fits-all legislation will eventually cause a paralyzed system increasingly incapable of adapting to a changing world, and ever increasing costs. The primary factors causing this destructive cycle, in Komesars view, lie in the political process itself. It is who gets listened to versus who should be listened to. Whether federal or state, interest group voices seek over-representation at the expense of larger yet less well organized or funded groups. In education, these groups are not the oft-vilified education establishment. The ascendant voices are anti-tax interests, business organizations and advocates for a particular cause. Yet, responsible legislation also requires that policy development involve those who are most affected by and responsible for implementing the law. In the school funding case neither the people who voted school budgets, the school boards (that demonstrated that budget increases were on the decline), nor the outside tax experts (who showed tax burdens as already declining) were consulted. The result is a cluttered new law, an unwieldy bureaucratic process, and a gratuitous solution to a problem already solving itself. Vermont has the accolade of smartest state. It is also rated first in health, second in childrens health, third on national assessment scores, third lowest in drop-outs and fifth highest in graduate productivity. This is an admirable record. Perhaps it has been the strength of our local communities and schools that have made this possible? Perhaps, according to Komesar, the greatest threat to this record is an out of control state government.