Vermont Business Magazine The Burlington Electric Department today announced that it has added plug-in hybrids to its electric vehicle (EV) rebate incentive program, first announced two weeks ago (original launch press release here and below). Through this new program component, members of the Burlington community will be eligible for a $600 rebate on the purchase or lease of a new plug-in hybrid EV with an electric range of 20 or more miles and an MSRP of less than $50,000. The program will add to Burlington Electric’s efforts to meet Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES).
by Mike Smith The state’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, is asking for an average premium hike of 12.7 percent for qualified plans established by the Affordable Care Act. This increase would affect about 70,000 Vermonters. The wages of Vermonters are growing only at a fraction of the requested premium increase. Don George, the president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, acknowledges that these premium increases — the largest in recent years — are unsustainable and place a heavy burden on working families and small businesses.
Vermont Business Magazine Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) will offer a special program Tuesday, June 13, 2017, to present and discuss a broad set of patient care and research initiatives in which the health system is involved, all geared to addressing the needs and challenges of delivering care for mental health and substance use disorders in New Hampshire and in the region.
Vermont Business Magazine SI-BONE, Inc, an innovative medical device company that pioneered the use of the iFuse Implant System, a triangular shaped minimally invasive surgical (MIS) device indicated for fusion for certain disorders of the sacroiliac (SI) joint, announced that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT), an independent, local, not-for-profit Vermont company, has established a written positive coverage policy for minimally invasive surgical (MIS) SI joint fusion.
Vermont Business Magazine A day many years in the making, Mount Snow broke ground today on its new $22 million lodge, as part of its more than $50 million expansion. The new 38,000 square-foot lodge, slated to open for the 2018/19 ski season, will serve as a hub for future development at Mount Snow, which will add slopeside lodging accommodations, improved parking facilities and a range of guest amenities to the Carinthia base area.
Vermont Business Magazine Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger received unanimous approval Monday night from the City Council for his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget of $190.1 million, a 1.2 percent ($2.2 million) increase from FY17. His budget includes additional positions for both the police and fire departments, the first such staff increases in 15 years, as well as a new early childhood education investment of $500,000. Added to the budget are $8 million in bonds for sidewalk infrastructure investment and $3.25 million in bonds for water infrastructure investment.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont tax revenue collections for the month of May 2017 were ahead of targets and the year-to-date numbers have nearly caught up with one month left in the fiscal year. The Corporate tax more than made up for another weak showing from the state's two largest General Fund revenue sources: the Personal Income and Sales taxes. General Fund revenues collected for the month of May totaled $85.10 million, $2.62 million ahead of the consensus revenue targets adopted by the Emergency Board on January 19, 2017, according to Secretary of Administration Susanne Young. That better-than-expected performance was driven by $3.57 million in above-target revenues in the Corporate Income Tax, along with modest gains in the Meals and Rooms, Insurance, Estate and Property Transfer taxes.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve has announced its 2017 award recipients for service and support to Vermont’s Guard and Reserve members. At their annual banquet held recently in Montpelier, Vermont ESGR recognized over 30 employers who provided outstanding support over the past year. Guest speaker for the event was retired Major General Will Roy, former Commander of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), Vermont Army National Guard, and currently Vermont Director, US Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Services. State Treasurer Beth Pearce participated in recognizing employers and providing closing comments. Interim Vermont Deputy Adjutant General Brigadier General Joel Clark also attended the event.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott’s office today issued the following information relating to the governor’s education savings proposal and the ongoing negotiation with the Legislature to realize up to $26 million in education savings a year. Scott vetoed the budget and property tax bills last week and the Legislature will hold a veto session June 21.
Vermont Business Magazine Late Saturday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions backed out of testifying in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee scheduled for Tuesday. This was to have followed up on former FBI director James Comey's testimony last week. US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) was irate that Sessions backed out of his appearance. On Monday, Leahy and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a letter to committee leaders urging them to essentially compel Sessions to testify.
by Brad Ferland I attended the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP) meeting on Thursday, May 25 in Brattleboro. During and after the meeting, I was too pre-occupied with preparation, speaking, and driving three hours home to St Albans to process much about the meeting. Looking back, though, I see the meeting as extremely valuable.
Vermont Business Magazine Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet, a Master’s degree student in UVM’s Food Systems Graduate Program, has been all over the news recently, both in his native Canada and in the US. The cause of the media’s feeding frenzy? A savory Quebeçois concoction made of french fries, gravy and cheese curds called poutine, which Fabien-Ouelette says has been the victim of cultural appropriation.