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Governor appoints Lisa Menard Corrections Commissioner

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 3:12pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott filled another extended cabinet position in his administration last Thursday, with the appointment of Lisa Menard as Commissioner of the Department of Corrections (DOC). Menard had been serving as Acting Commissioner of the department since Governor Scott took office in January. As Commissioner, Menard leads a team of 1,047 corrections professionals that operate the state’s correctional system.

Gund family donates $6 million to create Institute for Environment at UVM

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 9:30am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A $6 million gift from the Gund family – with a challenge to raise even more from other donors – will create the University of Vermont’s first university-wide sustainability institute that will accelerate UVM’s longstanding commitment to the environment. Designed to catalyze interdisciplinary research at UVM, the new initiative also will connect scholars with government, business and societal leaders to address urgent sustainability issues around the globe. The gift was announced by the university Tuesday morning.

Opinion: Tax Reform & Climate Action

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 7:44am -- tim

by Vermont Representatives Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, Johannah Leddy Donovan, Diana González, and Martin LaLonde Donald Trump’s anti-climate agenda threatens Vermont’s economy and endangers Vermonters’ health. While the president retreats to bygone days when coal was king, there are no coal mining jobs in Vermont. There are, however, 17,000 Vermonters whose jobs in clean energy are threatened by his policies.

Greenbanc partners with Alchemist to offer employees free home energy score

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 7:41am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Greenbanc, a certified B Corporation and the winner of Green Mountain Power’s InspireSpace contest, has partnered with The Alchemist to offer all employees a free Home Energy Score. The score is a new approach to measuring home energy performance, developed by the Department of Energy, that is fast, affordable, simple, creditable and flexible. It is an asset-based rating intended to be similar to a vehicle’s miles-per-gallon rating for a home.  

Pilot program helps 3SquaresVT recipients find jobs

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 3:47am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine In 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Vermont a three-year, $8.9 million dollar grant to develop a job readiness and training pilot program for people receiving 3SquaresVT benefits. Since March of 2016, over 1,350 Vermonters have participated in the pilot called Jobs for Independence (JFI).

Southwestern Vermont Health Care launches teen meme program

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 2:24am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Teens in southwestern Vermont and the surrounding area can now receive memes on their cell phones sent from Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) as part of a new program, SVHC’s Life Hacks. The word “hack” has many meanings. When used in this way, it describes clever solutions to common concerns or tips that make difficult situations easier. These hacks—like how to manage stress, drink more water, and navigate peer pressure—are presented as images with overlaid text, known as memes.

General Fund revenues ahead of targets, Transpo and Ed fall behind

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 4:47pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Personal Income and Rooms & Meals taxes continue to out-perform targets and were joined in March by the Corporate Income tax in pushing total General Fund revenues ahead of expectations for the month and the year-to-date. The Corporate numbers had been running below targets and are still behind last year's total. The Sales tax, however, has under-performed for many months, which is largely blamed on Internet sales. Personal Income is by far the state's most important revenue source, with Sales second. The Transportation and Education Funds fell below targets in part because of sluggish motor vehicle sales.

Vermont Department of Public Service seeks review of Vermont utility rate regulation

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 4:17pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Public Service in a statement released today has called on the Public Service Board to evaluate existing forms of utility regulation in light of emerging trends in the energy and utility sectors. The Department maintains that this review is needed in light of developments in State policy in recent years, particularly the enactment of laws incentivizing renewable energy; technological advancements in the utility sector; and the past decade’s worth of experience with alternative regulation.

Jon Meacham to give Middlebury College commencement address

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 4:10pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, political commentator, and former editor-in-chief of Newsweek, will deliver the 2017 Middlebury College commencement address on Sunday, May 28. A presidential historian, Meacham is the author of a number of books, including Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, which was named one of the 10 best books of 2015 by the Washington Post and one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Time magazine, and National Public Radio. He is also the author of “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” (2012) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (2009).

Aspen acquires Stratton parent for $1.5 billion

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 3:31pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The other snowshoe has dropped in a flurry of ski area mergers and acquisitions that seeks to merge operations in the East and West. Aspen Skiing Company, LLC announced today that it and an equity partner are buying Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc (NYSE: SNOW), which owns iconic southern Vermont resort Stratton Mountain and northern neighbor Mont Tremblant in Quebec, in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. Already this ski season, Aspen has cut a deal with Sugarbush Vermont on sharing ski passes, while its Colorado rival Vail bought the skiing operations of Stowe Mountain Resort for $50 million. 

State rep proposes fossil fuel fee to reduce property taxes

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 2:55pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine Carbon tax legislation isn’t dead, it’s just being reborn in a different form with a different incentive. Vermont Representative and South Burlington School Board Member Martin LaLonde announced a property tax reform and climate action proposal today at the headquarters of Ben & Jerry’s. While exact details of the bill will have to be constructed in committee, LaLonde’s legislation basically would charge some sort of fee on fossil fuel distributors and use the proceeds to reduce property taxes.

Four carbon bills proposed

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 2:55pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont legislators today proposed four tax reforms that they said would: Create jobs and strengthen the Vermont economy; prioritize low- and middle-income Vermonters; and reduce the carbon pollution causing global warming. The bills include proposals to lower the property tax and even eliminate the statewide sales tax.

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