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VEDA approves $54.7 million in financing

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 4:46pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $57.4 million in bond and loan financing to support a variety of economic development projects throughout Vermont. "VEDA is pleased to make tax-exempt bond financing available for a large-scale nonprofit development project that will produce jobs," said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.

Berkshire Hills reports Q1 2017 earnings, dividend declared

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 4:42pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE: BHLB), the parent company of Berkshire Bank with branches in southwestern Vermont, reported on Monday first quarter 2017 earnings of $15.5 million, or 44 cents per share. Core earnings totaled $19.4 million, or $0.55 per share. Net income increased by 50 percent over the prior quarter and core earnings increased by 8 percent, including the first full quarter benefit of the acquired First Choice operations. Non-core after-tax merger charges totaled $0.12 per share for the quarter.

Scott appoints John Quinn as Agency of Digital Services Secretary

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 4:26pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced the appointment of John Quinn as Secretary of Digital Services and Chief Information Officer. Quinn will lead the Agency of Digital Services (ADS), which was created by Gov. Scott under Executive Order 06-17 to establish a unified organizational structure for the state’s Information Technology (IT) portfolio.

Donovan joins action against rollback of student loan protections

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 2:23pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General Donovan today joined a multistate letter calling out the US Department of Education for abdicating its responsibility to millions of student loan borrowers. The Department is revoking critical reforms designed to help students avoid default and curtail loan servicer misconduct. The multistate letter – co-sponsored by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and joined by 19 attorneys general and the Office of Consumer Protection of Hawaii – was sent to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in opposition to the Department’s recent rollback of guidance intended to protect student loan borrowers and reform the student loan servicing industry.

Leonine: Legislature moves money bills

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 4:58am -- tim

Leonine Public Affairs The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the state FY18 budget bill on Friday afternoon. The Senate Appropriations Committee transferred approximately $8 million of teacher retirement expenses from the General Fund to the Education Fund. This freed up $8 million of General Fund dollars to fund numerous items on the committee’s “wish list” including the Vermont State Colleges, early education, Medicaid rate increases for mental health and home and community based providers and retaining the “cold weather exemption” for the homeless, among other things. The Senate Appropriations Committee also used $4.2 million in proceeds from a recent Volkswagen court settlement to make one-time investments in a variety of areas. 

UVM breaks ground on headquarters for UVM Rescue

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 2:57pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont has broken ground on a new $1.4 million headquarters for UVM Rescue, a student-run organization created in 1972 that provides advanced life support ambulance services to the campus and greater Chittenden County. In 2016, UVM Rescue received 1,615 service calls. UVM Rescue’s new home, to be located on the south end the of the parking lot at 284 East Avenue, will open in the fall of 2017. The service is now located within the 284 East Avenue complex.

Bennington Chamber to unveil new 2017 regional visitors guide

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 5:23am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce will unveil the new regional visitors guide on Thursday, April 27th in two locations. The area guide, a staple of the Chamber’s tourism efforts, is updated yearly and distributed throughout the Northeast as a way to showcase the region’s various tourist attractions. This year, as the Chamber announced its 2020 Vision to become a fully regional chamber, the visitors guide took on a new mission as well.

Treasurer, Vermont Financial Literacy Commission call for improvement of financial capability

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 4:33am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine State Treasurer Beth Pearce, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy Director John Pelletier, and members of the Vermont Financial Literacy Commission today urged policymakers to act on the recommendations contained in the Commission’s 2017 Financial Literacy Report.

UVM mourns the passing of Robert Larner, UVM ’39, MD’42

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 4:17pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Robert Larner, MD, the Burlington native for whom the UVM Larner College of Medicine was named in September of 2016, died peacefully at his home in Woodland Hills, CA, on Thursday, April 20, 2017. He was 99 years old. Over the years, Larner and his wife Helen have pledged $100 million to the university, primarily to the instruction of medical students. “Dr Bob Larner’s vision was always to support medical students through their important journey in medical school,” said Tom Sullivan, UVM president.

PAI: Finally, a pay raise

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 4:01pm -- tim

Public Assets Institute In 2016, Vermont’s lowest-paid workers saw the biggest wage gains of any group: 4 percent. When unemployment is low, workers are in short supply, so wages should increase. But Vermont’s low jobless rate—5 percent or less since 2012—was having little effect, especially at the low end. For those workers wages increased less than 2 percent a year from 2009 to 2014. Last year’s gains were due in part to Vermont’s minimum wage increase of 45 cents an hour.

House passes bill to require gender-free public bathrooms

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 3:54pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont House gave preliminary approval to H333 on a vote of 123-19 today, requiring that all single-user bathrooms in public buildings be labeled as gender-free. The strong support that this bill received on the floor exemplifies the House’s commitment to supporting Vermonters of all gender identities and ensuring that fundamental equalities are preserved. This legislation is a step forward to protect the basic human dignity of Vermonters and will have an immediate and tangible effect in our communities.