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Analysis: Vermont doesn’t need more low-wage jobs

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 3:09pm -- tim

by Public Assets Institute Thousands of Vermonters work at jobs that don’t pay enough to meet their families’ basic needs. That leaves Vermont taxpayers paying tens of millions of dollars to pick up the slack left by employers who pay so little that hard working men and women have to turn to public assistance. So, before the Legislature approves more tax breaks ostensibly designed to induce employers to create new jobs, it should require that those jobs pay at least enough to keep workers off public assistance.

People's United reports Q1 net income of $0.20 per share, dividend increase

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 2:57pm -- tim

People's United Financial, Inc (NASDAQ: PBCT) has reported net income of $59.2 million, or $0.20 per share, for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $53.1 million, or $0.18 per share, for the first quarter of 2014, and $64.7 million, or $0.22 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2014. Operating earnings were $63.2 million, or $0.21 per share, for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $56.5 million, or $0.19 per share, for the first quarter of 2014, and $65.1 million, or $0.22 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2014.

UVM holds groundbreaking for Miller Farm renovation

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 1:45pm -- tim

The University of Vermont officially broke ground on April 15 on a new instructional barn and milking parlor and a new research barn at the Paul R. Miller Agricultural Research Farm, Phase I of a two-phase, $10 million upgrade of the farm, located on Spear Street in Burlington. The $2.55 million, 13,176-square-foot teaching barn and milking parlor will accommodate an instructional herd of 50 cows and be completed in mid-September. For reasons of student safety, both facilities have safety and fire suppression systems not commonly found in barns.

Post office in Danville to be named for Thaddeus Stevens

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 9:57am -- tim

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont.), Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont), and a representative from US Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vermont) office will speak during the official renaming of the Danville, Vermont, post office to honor Thaddeus Stevens on Saturday. The Danville, Vermont-born congressman fought for the successful passage of the 13th Amendment to end slavery in the United States.

Weekly unemployment claims increase again

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 9:31am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The transition from the end of the winter recreation season is resulting in a seasonal increase in unemployment claims. Weekly unemployment claims rose again for the week of April 11, 2015. There were 767 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont, an increase of 166 from the previous week's total, but 137 fewer than they were a year ago.

Vermont home sales surge, finally

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 4:05pm -- tim

Vermont was by far the fastest growing state in New England for homes sales in March, up more than 20 percent. The state was also up significantly over the same time last year. Home prices were also up but at a more modest 2.6%. Meanwhile, the better-late-then-never arrival of spring inspired an uptick in home sales throughout New England. Month-over-month, home sales reflected the spring market with an increase of 29% over February’s numbers. Year-over-year, home sales increased by 1% in the region with 10,311 recorded sales. Across New England, median prices were on the incline.

Blue Cross pressures the state to reconcile millions of dollars in unpaid premiums

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 3:42pm -- tim

by Morgan True Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont is prepared to bill the state for millions of dollars in past-due premiums, according to a letter the company sent to state officials last month. BCBSVT, Vermont’s largest health insurer, has more than 90 percent of the state health exchange’s individual market, nearly 35,000 plans.

Governor signs two housing protection bills into law

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 3:11pm -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin today marked the anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act by signing two housing protection bills into law and declaring April Fair Housing Month. The first bill, H123, ensures mobile home parks are safely maintained and abandoned mobile homes can be dealt with fairly and expeditiously. Also enacted today was H256, which corrects and confirms protections against retaliation for exercising fair housing rights.

“It is integral that we protect the right of Vermonters to live in safe and healthy communities, and these bills will do just that,” said Shumlin.

Daniel Bridge named president of Vermont Mutual Insurance Group

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 3:07pm -- tim

At the annual meeting held on April 15, 2015, the Board of Directors named Daniel C Bridge President of Vermont Mutual Insurance Group. Bridge, the 17th president of the 187 year old group of companies, replaces former President and current Chief Executive Officer William A Catto, who will retire on June 30, 2015. Bridge joined Vermont Mutual as a Resident Vice President in January 2009. Prior to joining Vermont Mutual, he held senior leadership positions at several regional and national insurance companies within New England.

New report on Vermont forests addresses fragmentation

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 1:44pm -- tim

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder unveiled a new report to the Legislature today that addresses the fragmentation of Vermont’s forests and makes recommendations for how to protect their integrity. He released the report before a joint meeting of several key House and Senate committees of the Vermont Legislature.

Vermont mayors call for Senate to pass meaningful education reform legislation this year

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 1:06pm -- tim

The Vermont Mayors Coalition (VMC) today called on the Senate to pass meaningful education reform legislation this year to address the inequities and inefficiencies in Vermont’s education system that are creating unequal opportunities for Vermont students, driving up property taxes, and making Vermont’s education system difficult to administer. Among other measures, the mayors support reducing the number of school districts.