Vermont Business Magazine Heather Torrey, Assistant Director of Burlington School District’s Burlington School Food Project (BSFP), has been voted Director of the Year by the School Nutrition Association of Vermont (SNA-VT), for her “trail-blazing approach to a year fraught with challenges for Vermont school nutrition programs.” Facing unprecedented disruption over the past 12 months, Heather Torrey and the BSFP developed several innovative strategies for feeding communities during the pandemic, noted SNA-VT. Perhaps most notably, was their visionary Free Family Meal Kit program that provides children with seven days worth of meals in the form of both prepared foods and groceries. BSFP has built and distributed more than 20,000 meal kits since September 2020, representing 560,000 meals and snacks.
by Bill Schubart As I’ve written in the past, we’ll never sort out the hot mess that health care’s become in Vermont and in the U.S. until we agree on the fundamental question of whether health care is a definable right or just a lucrative business. Our persistent ambivalence only extends its cost and complexity with second-class outcomes. With a total domestic cost of $3.8 trillion (17.7% of G.D.P. / $11,600 per American) and worse health outcomes than those of our peers abroad, we can no longer evade the question. Reduced to its simplest terms, today the health of Vermonters must compete with the privilege of those who makes billions out of misfortune.
by Devon Green, Vice President of Government Relations Back in January, as I worked with hospitals on setting up vaccine clinics, procuring testing supplies, and other COVID-related responses, I hoped against hope that the legislature would limit their activity to COVID issues. Of course, not even Zoom squares can contain our legislators. Now, I’m relieved that they expanded their scope because we made a lot of progress in important areas like workforce, mental health, and health equity. I thank all of our legislators for their support on these initiatives and of their local hospitals.
by Jill Mazza Olson, Executive Director, VNAs of Vermont The Vermont Legislature has adjourned for the second time in a year—the first being last Fall, when they finished up the extra-long 2020 session. While the session that began in January was an average length, it was far from ordinary, as legislators were largely working remotely. Despite the distance from their peers, lawmakers were very busy this year.
Vermont Business Magazine Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s (SVHC) Medical Matters Weekly with Dr. Trey Dobson, a weekly interactive, multiplatform medical-themed talk show, will feature Anore Horton, the executive director of Hunger Free Vermont on its June 9 program. Hunger Free Vermont is a statewide advocacy, education, and technical assistance nonprofit dedicated to ending the injustice of hunger and malnutrition for all Vermonters. The show will air at noon. Horton will reflect on her organization’s initiatives toward food security and food security work happening throughout the state.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott signed 10 bills into law today, as passed by the General Assembly. They include S3, "An act relating to competency to stand trial and insanity as a defense," S15, "An act relating to mailing out ballots, correcting defective ballots, and miscellaneous changes to State election laws," and S48, "An act relating to Vermont’s adoption of the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact."
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced new walk-in clinics as the state pushes to make the COVID-19 vaccine easily accessible throughout Vermont. As of Monday, 79.2% of eligible (12+) Vermonters have received at least one dose of the COVID-19, which means 4,197 more people are needed to reach Scott’s goal to vaccinate 80% of the eligible population. The governor has said he will lift the remaining COVID-19 restrictions when it is reached. If 1,000 Vermonters a day got their shot, the state would reach 80 percent by June 10.
Vermont Business Magazine Advocacy groups, civic organizations, and businesses hailed a brand-new law, signed by Governor Phil Scott today, requiring ballots to be mailed to all active Vermont voters in general elections moving forward. The policy that was put in place as a one-time emergency measure in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic.
Vermont Business Magazine Following the enactment of S15 today, which will make the mailing of ballots to all Vermont voters a permanent feature of general elections, Secretary of State Jim Condos issued the below statement on this historic expansion of voter access. “Today we should be proud as Vermonters. Around the country we are witnessing an assault on voting rights, as state legislatures use conspiracy theories and lies as cover to restrict the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of American voters."
Vermont Business Magazine The Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Tuesday, June 8 at 11 am will hold a hearing on “The President's Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Proposal.” Shalanda D. Young, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, will testify.
Vermont Business Magazine Town Manager Carrie Johnson announced on Monday that the Town of St Albans raised $944,427.41 from the local options tax in Fiscal Year 2021, an increase of $46,952.32 or a 5.1 percent increase from the Fiscal Year 2020 revenues. The Town of St Albans voters approved a local options tax on Town Meeting Day 2014 to be used solely on Town infrastructure. Since its implementation, the Town has raised over $5.6 million.
Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets We’re looking for farms, food businesses, sugarmakers, restaurants, breweries, lodging partners, producer associations, food system organizations, recreation, tourism partners, and more to participate in a fall celebration of all things maple from September 15 – October 15, 2021. This is your chance to get creative and help us showcase the many uses of Vermont maple!