Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont) have sent an oversight letter to the US Department of Agriculture, following the Department’s award of the Farmers to Families Food Box contract to two out-of-state entities. The Delegation’s letter raises concerns about the continuity of operations in Vermont’s feeding program through October, the end of the federal program. The Abbey Group, a food service company based in Enosburg Falls, distributed 568,682 food boxes containing local Vermont produce regionally from May through mid-September. The USDA selected Costa Fruit and Produce, based in Massachusetts, and Sysco, based in Texas, to distribute food boxes in Vermont for the third and final phase of the Farmers to Families Food Box program.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is pleased to announce that the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the USDA has awarded $402,550 to the State of Vermont as a part of the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. The application is now open for certified operations to apply for these funds. Certified organic operations may receive reimbursement of up to 50 percent of their direct certification costs paid between October 1 and September 30 annually, not to exceed $500 per certification scope.
by Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos Many of us love going to the polls on Election Day. Joining in-person with our friends, family, and neighbors to participate in the civic process is something I look forward to every election year. As Vermont’s Chief Election Official, it is my responsibility to ensure we can all safely exercise our sacred right to vote. My office’s planning for the 2020 elections during COVID-19 has been driven by two unwavering goals: preserving every Vermont voter’s right to vote, and protecting the health and safety of voters, Town Clerks and election workers.
Vermont Business Magazine On January 7, you returned to session with a mixture of hope and excitement, to do the work of government - to solve problems and help people. I remember that well from my years in the Legislature... It’s hard to explain - but I know you understand - how distant that day feels from today. None of us could have ever imagined what was about to happen.
University of Vermont Land-use change. Environmental change. Extreme natural events. Wildfires and hurricanes. All are impacting the planet’s so-called critical zone, where water, air, soil, rock and life interact. To explore these overlapping disturbances to the critical zone, the realm that spans from the treetops to the Earth’s bedrock, University of Vermont researchers have been awarded a $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The UVM team will focus on snow-dominated ecosystems across the US Comprised of disciplines from engineering to soil chemistry, the team will use big data, earth science and complex systems tools to investigate how short- and long-term disruptions to the critical zone affect its ability to resist and recover.
Dartmouth College Due to the pandemic and resulting economic downturn, requests for undergraduate financial aid in the current academic year are expected to grow by $8 million beyond the budgeted amount of $120 million for the current year. The unprecedented one-year increase is up 6% over last year. The number of the first-year students receiving scholarship support has grown by 2% over last year, while the average financial aid award for the Class of 2024 is up 7%, to more than $60,000, in a year-to-year comparison. Approximately 22% of the current first-year students come from families earning $100,000 or less a year, meaning they're receiving full-tuition scholarships, up from 20% for the Class of 2023.
Leonine Public Affairs The $7.17 billion budget bill, which goes into effect upon passage, must be signed by the governor by September 30, 2020, when the first quarter budget bill passed in June expires. While Scott is expected to pass the budget, the stripped down Act 250 update bill could face a veto.
Vermont Business Magazine As part of Ben & Jerry's efforts to get people to the polls in November, the ice cream company has unveiled a physical and virtual art installation based on civil rights icon John Lewis' autobiographical graphic novel trilogy, MARCH. THE LONG MARCH exhibit was revealed at Ben & Jerry's Waterbury, Vermont factory on National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 22nd through a virtual celebration. The tribute showcased video highlights of Lewis' life, a tour of the display narrated by MARCH trilogy co-author Andrew Aydin, and a panel of distinguished individuals supporting racial justice through their activism, including Andrew Aydin and Courtland Cox.
Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) issued the following statement Saturday night on President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court: "President Trump and Senate Republicans have badly mismanaged a deadly pandemic for months. Now, in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis, they are willing to ram through a Supreme Court nominee—within days—who will vote to destroy the Affordable Care Act, kick millions of Americans off their health care, and eliminate protections for millions more who have preexisting conditions. This is an absolute outrage..."
by Bill Schubart Today, the pandemic is exposing Vermont’s endemic problems, accelerating some into full-blown crises, the latest of which is the state and federal failure to meet the challenge of inequitable broadband deployment, which, at present, is driven by return-on-investment as measured by population density and capacity to pay – or privilege.
Senator Patrick Leahy Yesterday, I stood by Justice Ginsburg as she lay in state at the US Capitol, honoring her life, her legacy, and our friendship. Today, barely a week after she passed, President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill her seat on the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg hasn’t even been laid to rest yet.
Vermont Business Magazine The Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday issued another order extending the temporary moratorium of involuntary utility disconnections through October 15, 2020. The Department of Public Service had recommended extending the moratorium “until October 15, 2020, consistent with the governor’s most recent extension of the state of emergency.