Vermont Business Magazine The Senate and the House early Friday morning passed a bipartisan budget agreement to keep the federal government open, strengthen the military and invest in priorities here at home. President Trump signed the bill upon receiving it Friday morning. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, played a key role in negotiating the package, which passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 28, and the House by a vote of 240 to 186. Congressman Peter Welch voted in favor, while Senator Bernie Sanders voted against.
Vermont Business Magazine The City of Burlington has added a citizens, non-binding question on the Town Meeting Day ballot regarding whether Burlington voters support, or not, the basing of the F-35 at the Air Guard base at the Burlington International Airport. There was much debate about the wording of the ballot question, which eventually was left intact from the original petition. On Friday afternoon Vermont National Guard Major General Steven Cray held a press conference at the base to discuss the F-35. His opening comments and video are below, as well as the ballot resolution.
Leonine Public Affairs The 2018 legislative session is now six weeks old and it feels like it's flying by. This usually means legislators have completed a third of the session. It also means we are closing in on the “crossover deadline,” which marks the date a bill must make it out of committee in order to be considered by the other legislative chamber. There are different crossover deadlines for policy bills and “money” bills--this year the deadline for policy bills is March 2 and for money bills it is March 16.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Community Garden Network is offering garden start-up services for any business that wants to establish a workplace food garden for their employees. The Green Thumbs at Work program provides employers and employees with technical assistance and planning support to ensure the garden will be successful in its first season and for years to come.
Vermont Business Magazine How often do you see legislators, state officials, the Lieutenant governor, farmers and community members discussing farm and food issues in a slaughterhouse? That’s what happened this past Monday morning at the Vermont Packinghouse, a meat processing facility based in North Springfield, Vermont, in a former Ben & Jerry’s ice cream plant. Not everyone would host such an event at a slaughterhouse, complete with tours and full viewing of the so-called “kill floor.”
But Arion Thiboumery is not your average slaughterhouse executive.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Electric Co-op (VEC) is seeking candidates for three soon-to-be-open seats on the board of directors. VEC’s 12-member board of directors is responsible for setting policy and determining the direction of the co-op in providing safe, reliable power in the least expensive way possible and working towards shaping the grid of the future. Directors meet monthly, receive a stipend and mileage reimbursement for attending meetings, and have training opportunities to learn more about energy issues and the cooperative model.
Vermont Business Magazine The wastewater treatment system in Milton was recently recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency for its commitment to improving water quality. The Milton Wastewater Treatment Facility was selected by EPA for a 2017 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award. The Milton facility, led by Director David Allerton, was recognized by EPA's New England Office for exceptional work in operating and maintaining the wastewater treatment plant.
by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott is making a renewed effort to get a Vermont project selected for the massive and lucrative renewable energy contract being awarded by the state of Massachusetts. At the end of January, Massachusetts selected an Eversource project for the 1,200 megawatt power line from Quebec, through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It eventually would connect into the Massachusetts electric grid. Last year Scott had made a similar pitch in hopes that Massachusetts would select the TDI New England project.
Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell modestly, wiping out the small increase from the previous week. Now that the tumult of the holidays is over, the weekly claims report is back to a more regular pattern. For the week of February 3, 2018, there were 468 claims, 121 more than than they were the previous week and 94 fewer than they were a year ago. Altogether 6,052 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 148 from a week ago, and 764 fewer than a year ago. For most weeks of 2017, including the last several months, claims have registered below the year before.
Vermont Business Magazine The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, announced that it has provided $800,000 in grants to 36 food banks across the bank's Maine to Florida footprint to help provide meals locally to families and individuals in need. The grants focus on food stability; healthy growth and development; and access to fresh food for underserved communities. In Vermont, $30,000 of these funds will support the work of the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, the Vermont Foodbank.
Vermont Business Magazine Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) issued the following statement late Thursday in advance of the vote very early Friday morning on the federal budget agreement. Welch voted in favor of the compromise bill, which President Trump signed later Friday morning. The federal government briefly was shutdown overnight. Vermont senators split their vote, with Senator Patrick Leahy supporting it and Senator Bernie Sanders opposing.
Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Natural Resources announced today that Enviro Tech of VT Septic Services, LLC of Colchester was fined $58,550 for unlawfully managing septic waste for over a decade. Many Vermonters live outside areas served by municipal sewer lines, relying instead on septic systems. Commercial waste haulers provide essential services to these Vermonters by managing septic, solid, and hazardous wastes that can be difficult and impractical for individuals to manage on their own.