As the Legislature returns from their Town Meeting Week sabbatical, Vermont Business Magazine is offering this review of recent vermontbiz.com poll questions, featuring Governor Shumlin's effort on reducing heroin and opiate addiction, the Legislature's rally to make hand-held cell phone use illegal while driving (the governor opposes the bill), and a recent push by lawmakers to use the rooms and meals tax to help pay for the cleanup of Vermont's waterways, most notably Lake Champlain.
General Fund revenues totaled $60.12 million for February 2014, $1.88 million or 3.23 percent ahead of the monthly target. Year to date, General Fund receipts are now $833.64 million, -$.26 million or -0.03 percent below the cumulative target. Year to date revenue is +$27.20 million (+3.37 percent) ahead of the same period for the prior fiscal year (FY 2013). Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding released the February 2014 General Fund (GF) revenue results Thursday.
Senator Patrick Leahy on Friday announced the witnesses who will testify at the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s field hearing, in Rutland on March 17, on “Community Solutions To Breaking The Cycle Of Heroin And Opioid Addiction.”
New unemployment claims rose last week for the second consecutive week after a long preiod of decline. They had decreased for seven consecutive weeks, or every week since the end of 2013. For the week of March 1, 2014, there were 1,009 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is an increase of 185 from the previous week's total, and 75 fewer than they were a year ago.
by Anne Galloway vtdigger.org Vermont’s 72-year-old junior senator told The Nation that he has begun meeting with political strategists, traveling to southern states and entertaining the logistics of a run for president in 2016.
To provide additional support to Vermonters signing up for April 1 health coverage, Vermont Health Connect is extending the Customer Support Call Center hours this weekend and next. The Call Center will be open:
Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce are soliciting Nominations for the 24th Annual Deane C Davis Outstanding Vermont Business Award. Given to the Vermont Business whose outstanding accomplishments in 2013 complement its history of success and awareness of what makes Vermont unique. Nominations close on March 7.
The award will be presented at the Vermont Chamber Business and industry EXPO on May 21, 2014, at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center. The theme of this year's Expo is Business Innovation: Media, Workforce, and Finance.
by Laura Krantz vtdigger.org
Last fall, Governor Peter Shumlin publicly supported an initiative that is supposed to make it easier for the state to keep guns out of the hands of alleged domestic abusers. A fee mechanism to pay for safe storage facilities is part of that initiative.
A newly released report shows AT&T wireless customers in Vermont are enjoying a network experience ranked highest in a tie for combined/overall voice, data, and text performance by an independent mobile research and testing organization.
National Bank of Middlebury has announced a major donation in support of Howden Hall in Bristol. Pledged in celebration of the bank’s 175th Anniversary (2006), NBM donated its gift of $25,000 upon the recent completion of the renovations to the home of the Bristol Historical Society.
by Morgan True vtdigger.org
Vermont Republicans are questioning the Shumlin administration’s decision to hire a special lobbyist to push its health care reform agenda. In an email blast on Wednesday, the GOP attacked the man tapped for the job.
Susan L Donegan, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, announced today that the state has received more than $270,000 as the result of a settlement reached last week into the conduct of a Rutland area securities broker.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Wednesday led a coalition of 17 senators and 24 members of the House in support of a proposed regulation by the Food and Drug Administration that will improve the labeling on generic drugs and secure equal treatment for consumers who take generics.
Madrid-based BKOOL.com has chosen St Johnsbury, Vermont, to set up its first American sales and support office, tapping long time bike industry veteran and Peacham resident Craig Harrison as US brand manager.
BKOOL US Brand Manager Craig Harrison racing in 2010.
Out of concern and respect for passengers, CCTA is advising the public that a potential strike by its drivers’ Union could interrupt service beginning Monday, March 10, 2014, it said in a statement issued Thursday.
Teamsters Local Number 597, the drivers’ Union at CCTA, has indicated to CCTA the potential for a labor action beginning Monday, and public comments suggest it is planning for a strike, despite the fact that negotiations are planned to resume this Saturday.
B Corp, the premier entity that measures the social and environmental practices of businesses nationwide and internationally, has certified Gardener's Supply of Burlington, Vermont, a leading online and catalog garden products retailer and wholesaler, as a Certified B Corp
By a vote of 375-36, the US House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon approved energy efficiency legislation authored by Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont). The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, HR 2126, is the first significant bipartisan energy initiative approved by the House in the 113th Congress.
by John Herrick vtdigger.org
More than a dozen towns voted to oppose any effort to pump oil from Canadian tar sands across the Northeast Kingdom at town meetings on Tuesday. The Portland-Montreal pipeline carries crude oil from South Portland, Maine, to Montreal. The company, Portland Pipe Line Corp., is considering a reversal of the flow to bring tar sands oil to ports in Maine.
As the weather warms up and sap begins to flow from the Maple trees, Donnie Richards, of Meadowbrook Maple Syrup, knows how important it is to collect as much of the sweet stuff as he can to boil into syrup.
The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law has developed an online research site for use by anyone interested in sustainable food and agriculture, the most recent step in the center’s mission to provide legal and policy support to citizens who care about how food is grown and distributed in the U.S.
The Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Sarah K de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust to support facilities improvements to their Wild Bird Hospital and raptor exhibits.
What happens when you ask bus drivers of the largest provider of school transportation in North America to enhance fuel efficiency by 5 percent in a year? First Student drivers respond by saving 3.2 million gallons of fuel, enough to keep approximately 1,700 yellow buses running an entire year, more than enough to serve a city the size of Chicago.
Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) is seeking director candidates for three positions on the Board of Directors that will open in May of 2014. VEC's twelve-member board is responsible for setting policy for the member-owned electric distribution utility, which serves approximately 32,000 members in northern Vermont. Board members are democratically elected by VEC members in their district or zone and are expected to represent the interests of these members.
by Anne Galloway vtdigger.org Thirty-four municipalities out of 246 towns rejected school budgets on Town Meeting Day, according to the Vermont School Boards Association. Two hundred nine passed budgets, 12 have not reported results and 19 towns will hold budget votes in the next several weeks.