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At least six minimum wage plans swirl around the Statehouse

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 2:22pm -- tim

by Hilary Niles Lawmakers are reviewing at least six approaches to increasing the state’s minimum wage, five weeks after Governor Peter Shumlin embraced President Barack Obama’s plan to move to $10.10 per hour by 2017.

The state minimum wage is $8.73 per hour, compared to the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. Vermont nudges up the minimum hourly wage each year in proportion to changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Interstate 89 closed in Highgate due to reported plane crash

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:37pm -- tim

Vermont State Police One lane of I-89 in Highgate has been re-opened. Today at approximately 12:12 pm, the Vermont State Police received a 911 call regarding a plane crash on Interstate 89 in the northbound lane, near mile marker 125, north of exit 21 in the town of Highgate. Initial reports indicated the single passenger plane was fully engulfed in flames and someone parachuted out prior to crashing.

Moody’s downgrades Vermont Law School revenue bonds

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:50am -- tim

by Anne Galloway Moody’s Investors Service, an investment assessment services company, downgraded Vermont Law School’s $10.3 million in 2011 revenue bonds this week. Moody’s lowered its rating for the school’s bonds from Baa2 to Ba1 this week.

The downgrade drops Vermont Law School by two rating categories. (See chart at end of article.)

TD Bank holds the bonds, which were issued by the Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Finance Agency.

Vermont unemployment rate falls three-tenths to 3.4 percent

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:09am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s unemployment rate is now second lowest in the nation, behind only North Dakota (2.6 percent). Driven by an increase in jobs and a steep decline in the number of unemployed, Vermont's unemployment rate fell again in March to 3.4 percent, a level not seen since well before the national economy collapsed in 2008. This is the lowest Vermont seasonally adjusted unemployment rate since June 2005. The March rate represents a decrease of three-tenths of a percent from the February rate of 3.7 percent.

Industry heavyweights come to Vermont to oppose toxic chemicals bill

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:24am -- tim

by John Herrick Global technology giant IBM has joined the opposition to a Vermont proposal to regulate chemicals in children’s products that the state’s health department considers harmful.

Big Blue was part of a chorus of major industries against the plan, a list that includes the Toy Industry Association, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Burton Snowboards, Keurig Green Mountain and Wal-Mart.

St Albans woman convicted for falsely obtaining monies from the Vermont Medicaid program

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:20am -- tim

Attorney General General Ashley Martin of St Albans, Vermont, was convicted on April 17, 2014, in Vermont District Court for Windsor County, of five misdemeanor counts of False Pretenses. The convictions stemmed from Martin having forged signatures on timesheets she submitted for respite care not actually provided to a vulnerable adult enrolled in Vermont’s Developmental Disability Services program.

Vermont attorney general opposes proposal to strip states of right to protect their citizens against toxic chemicals

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 3:20pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Attorney General and 12 other state attorneys general sent a letter today to the leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy objecting to a provision in proposed legislation amending the federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) that would strip states of the power to protect their citizens and the environment from dangerous chemicals.

Vermont federal court rules in favor of Vermont and against alleged patent troll in preliminary decision

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 2:07pm -- tim

by Walter Judge, Jr Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell has won a major victory in his groundbreaking effort to use state law to crack down on “patent trolls.” In State of Vermont v. MPHJ, LLC, the Vermont federal court has rejected the preliminary bid of MPHJ, an alleged “patent troll,” to avoid facing possible liability under Vermont consumer protection law.

Vermont’s new captive insurance legislation signed into law

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 1:08pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin today signed new legislation passed in the State Legislature updating Vermont’s captive law, amending the reciprocal insurer section and creating a new “dormant” status for captives. The dormant status establishes an efficient mechanism for a captive that has ceased insurance operations to cost-effectively retain its license should it elect to resume operations in the future. The law takes effect immediately.