Vermont Business Magazine According to a new poll released today, Vermont voters are overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the practice of mailing a ballot to every voter, a policy that was put in place by state leaders on a temporary basis last year. The poll found that 68 percent of Vermont voters want to keep vote by mail, while just 29 percent oppose it. Vermont experienced record voter turnout in 2020 after each active registered voter was mailed a ballot at home. Approximately 75 percent of voters returned their ballots by mail or by depositing them in a local drop box.
Vermont Business Magazine Today Vermont Secretary of Education Dan French made the following statement regarding the US Department of Education (USED) letter to Chief State School Officers offering flexibilities to states on statewide assessment, accountability and reporting requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. The announcement indicates that USED will not provide blanket waivers for assessment administration during the 2020-2021 school year. The Department is offering flexibility to states in how and when to offer their statewide assessments, and in their federally required accountability systems. USED will also require all states to maintain state and local report card requirements. USED will also require states to report chronic absenteeism data.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced an update to the State’s policy on gatherings, as the new travel quarantine policy (announced on February 19) went into effect. Effective today, people who are fully vaccinated may travel to Vermont and return from out of state travel without quarantine restrictions, once 14 days have passed from when they received their final dose. Additionally, people who meet this vaccination criteria may now gather with one other household at time.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Scott announced today that if you are fully vaccinated plus two weeks you can gather with one and only one other household even if they are not vaccinated. Also if fully vaccinated you may travel in or out of the state without quarantine. And, the Vermont Department of Health on Tuesday is reporting 82 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 14,691 and two more deaths for a statewide total of 199. VDH is also reminding Vermonters that they can create an account to get vaccinated even if they are not eligible yet to receive one. VDH announced today that it will open up the next vaccination phase for those 65 or older on March 1.
Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Tuesday announced the winners of his eleventh annual State of the Union essay contest, which gives Vermont high school students an opportunity to describe pressing issues they would prioritize as president of the United States. Over the past 11 years, nearly 5,000 students throughout Vermont, representing almost every high school in the state, have written essays about critically important issues, including racial justice, gun safety, immigration, climate change, mental health care, the rising cost of college, and more. This year, 319 students from 42 Vermont high schools submitted essays.
Vermont Business Magazine Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), southeastern Vermont’s non-profit community mental-health agency, announced today the results of a successful campaign to support Vermonters in need of winter clothing. A total of $9,395 was raised to provide warm clothing to their clients as well as community members across Windsor and Windham Counties.
Vermont Business Magazine St Johnsbury Pediatrics has received a $5,000 COVID Relief Suicide Safer Care Mini-Grant. The grant program, which is supported by COVID Relief and Carry-forward funds from the Department of Mental Health, will help providers at St. Johnsbury Pediatrics in supporting their patients as well as making referrals when a higher level of care is warranted. The Mini-Grant program, which was developed by the Center for Health and Learning/VT Suicide Prevention Center, will engage staff in training and assessment of depression, suicidality, and safety planning. It will also help strengthen workflows and implement suicide specific protocols.
Vermont Business Magazine On February 1, two community members set out to raise $500,000 in support for Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s (SVHC) project to re-imagine the former Southern Vermont College campus by February 28. They called it The Grateful Bennington Fund. The fundraiser has collected $216,009 in funds and pledges from more than 150 donors so far. The group is grateful for each and every gift they have received, ranging from $5 to $25,000, with an average donation of $250.
Vermont Business Magazine The Small Business Administration’s Vermont District Office and Western Pennsylvania District Office are co-hosting a webinar about the System For Award Management at 11 am February 25. SAM is a centralized government website used by small businesses and non-profit organizations to apply for and obtain federal government contracts and grants, such as the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
by John McClaughry Last month the three-member Vermont Tax Structure Commission delivered a well-written, informative, and conscientious report. The legislature will now need to come to grips with some very large taxation change proposals.
The longest part of the report deals with our complex property tax financing of education. It recommends replacing the education homestead property tax with an income tax. Non-residential property would continue to be taxed for education at a statewide rate.
Vermont Business Magazine Unraveling the unique characteristics of cancer cells and finding less-harmful ways to stop their growth have long been a focus for cancer researchers worldwide. New findings, reported today in Nature Communications, describe the discovery of a unique dependence of cancer cells on a particular protein, which could lead to desperately-needed treatment for hard-to-treat cancers. Lead author and University of Vermont (UVM) Cancer Center researcher Jason Stumpff, PhD, has spent over two decades studying how cells divide and how mistakes in this process contribute to diseases, such as cancer.
Vermont Business Magazine Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s (SVHC) Medical Matters Weekly with Dr. Trey Dobson, a weekly interactive, multiplatform medical-themed talk show that launched February 10, will feature two Emergency nurses—Alexandra Chaffin, RN, and Jill Maynard, RN—as guests on its February 24 show. The show will cover what it is like to be an emergency nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic and initiatives implemented to ensure patient and staff safety.