by Patrick Leahy January 6, 2021, will forever mark a day of infamy for our nation. It will be remembered because our beloved Capitol building — the very heart of our democracy — was stormed and laid under siege. Rioters broke through windows, doors, and security barriers in both the Senate and House wings of the Capitol, assaulting Capitol Police officers, leaving a wake of destruction, and forcing me and other Members of Congress to temporarily delay fulfilling our constitutional duty to certify the presidential election.
Vermont Business Magazine Today at the State House in Montpelier, following a small swearing in ceremony of Vermont’s constitutional officers, Governor Phil Scott delivered remarks to the Vermont General Assembly to highlight the beginning of the upcoming legislative session. Traditionally, the Governor would give the inaugural address during a joint session of the General Assembly, following the swearing in ceremony. However, due to health restrictions related to COVID-19, Governor Scott will deliver his inaugural address this evening, remotely, at 7 pm.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting the second highest single-day total of COVID-19 cases with 214. It's also only the second time cases have surpassed 200 since the beginning of the pandemic last March. The highest total was December 2 with 223. VDH also reported three more deaths for 155 total statewide. Chittenden (72) and Addison (41) counties accounted for the majority of the cases.
Vermont Department of Public Safety Statement of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling regarding Sergeant Lucas Hall: This morning the Vermont State Police received a report of personal, off duty, social media posts by Lucas Hall of the Shaftsbury barracks. These posts appear to support the criminal insurgency that occurred yesterday at the US Capitol and to advocate for such insurgency to continue. While we recognize the rights of all people including sworn law enforcement officers to express their views, advocating for the overthrow of the constitutionally defined democratic election process by force or violence violates our oath of office to uphold the Constitution.
Vermont Business Magazine GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app used by more North American drivers to save money on gas, is predicting that 2021 may feature a sharp rally in gas prices by year end, warning that the national average could rise to as high as $3 per gallon should the nation broadly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the risk exists for some pain at the pumps during the year, GasBuddy expects the yearly average will jump a more modest 27 cents per gallon in 2021. As of today, Vermont's average gas price was up 3 cents from a week ago to $2.25 a gallon. The US average was up 4 cents to $2.30.
Vermont Business Magazine Auto insurance rates have fallen for the first time in over a decade — decreasing by 1.7 percent across the US for 2021. Vermont's fell 2.9 percent and ranks 10th lowest in US at $1,135, according to ValuePenguin.com's State of Auto Insurance in 2021 report published today. The rate decrease in 2021 is an anomaly caused by fewer Americans driving in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Less drivers on the road, and a steep reduction in claims, brings the average cost of Auto Insurance in 2021 to $1,636.
Vermont Business Magazine The Future Forest Economy Initiative is investing $250,000 to enhance markets for certified wood and to strengthen the supply chain for wood in the Northern Forest region through a grant to the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands (TCNEF). The three-year grant award will enable TCNEF to expand the ranks of certified Master Logger companies in the region, with a focus on New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. The Master Logger program improves logger performance, company financial stability, and workforce development and retention while increasing the supply of certified wood fiber.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Electric Co-op is continuing to offer a wide variety of bill credits this year for members who purchase certain electricity-powered devices for their homes or businesses to transition away from fossil fuels. One important change from last year’s incentives is that VEC is partnering with Efficiency Vermont to offer a single point of purchase incentive for ductless heat pumps. The result is that members will get VEC’s incentive, combined with the Efficiency Vermont incentive, at the time they buy the heat pump instead of applying for the credit post-purchase. However, members who install heat pumps in buildings that meet thermal efficiency criteria can get another $150 bill credit directly from VEC.
Vermont Business Magazine The DeltaClimeVT climate economy business accelerator seeks entrepreneurs for the Energy 2021 program. Startup ventures that focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy-related products or services for residential and small business customers must submit applications for Energy 2021 by February 19, 2021. Selection will focus on companies that are entering or currently at a pilot or demonstration stage and planning for scale.
Governor Phil Scott on Wednesday issued the following statement: “This is a very disturbing time for our nation. What we are seeing today at the U.S. Capitol is not a peaceful protest – it is an unacceptable attack on our democracy. The rioters have actively assaulted police officers, and they should immediately evacuate the Capitol building or be removed. Make no mistake, the President of the United States is responsible for this event..."
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported today that there were 106 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths. The VDH also said that you can spread the COVID-19 virus to others two days before you notice any symptoms, or even if you never develop symptoms. Our timelines can help determine when you might have been infectious, or when someone you were exposed to might have been infectious — the time when the virus can spread to others.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine US Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont) just concluded a telephone press conference (Wednesday 4:30 pm) in which he described the chaotic scene inside the Capitol, clear to those events on the news programs. He said he was safe and removed to a secure location. There are protocols for such an event, he said. He also said this is a perilous time for democracy in the United States and that, though he admitted it would be unlikely, that President Trump should be removed immediately for inciting this riot.