Vermont Business Magazine Today, Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B Larson (D-CT) responded to new findings from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study they commissioned which found that thousands of American die or go bankrupt waiting to receive their disability benefits each year.
by C.B. Hall, Vermont Business Magazine Neither Amtrak nor the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) as yet has any specific date for the resumption of the national passenger rail provider's service in Vermont. On March 26, as the COVID-19 pandemic gained momentum, Amtrak truncated service on the state's two trains, the New York-to-Rutland Ethan Allen Express and the Washington-to-St Albans Vermonter. Service on the Vermonter currently extends only as far north as New Haven, Conn., while the Ethan Allen comes no farther north than Rensselaer, New York, which serves Albany.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced that the State of Vermont will distribute up to 300,000 cloth face coverings to the public, emergency responders and select agencies throughout the month of August. The State Emergency Operations Center procured the masks from those donated to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Vermont's total population is about 626,000. As of August 1, face coverings are mandatory in all public places in Vermont. While wearing a mask is not a substitute for physical distancing and other mitigation measures, public health experts advise that masks help limit the spread of COVID-19 and should be worn in public when physical distancing is not possible.
Vermont Business Magazine Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, joined officials and community partners from Winooski and Burlington at a press conference Wednesday to mark the formal end of the state’s first significant outbreak and community spread of COVID-19. An outbreak is considered “resolved” following two full incubation periods (28 days total) with no new cases. The VDH also announced today that there were five new cases of COVID-19 statewide to go along with 11 yesterday for a total of 1,478.
Vermont Business Magazine While we only have preliminary, unofficial results, it would appear Vermont voters turned out to vote in record numbers, with well over 155,000 Vermonters exercising their right to vote on or before yesterday’s Primary Elections.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Community Foundation, in partnership with area philanthropists, has announced almost $1 million in grants from the Main Street Business Relief Fund for Arlington, Dorset, and Manchester. Led by an anonymous donor’s $500,000 contribution and match challenge, community members stepped up to help regional businesses overcome financial challenges stemming from the pandemic.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Economists Jeff Carr on behalf of the Scott Administration and Tom Kavet on behalf of the Legislature presented their updated, consensus state revenue projections to the Emergency Board Wednesday afternoon via Zoom. The economists stated that while revenue expectations are higher than prior estimates, The bad news is nearly everything else going forward. The three major funds (General, Transportation and Education) are expected to generate about $274.5 million less (-11.2 percent) than anticipated.
Vermont Business Magazine In an effort to expand on existing programs that provide Vermonters with high-demand job skills, Community College of Vermont (CCV) is joining Amazon Web Services (AWS) Academy. AWS Academy provides higher education institutions with cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognized certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. One of these courses will be incorporated into “Special Topics: Fundamentals of Cloud Computing,” which will be offered online in fall 2020 and will prepare students to take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) today announced that the Legislature has approved funding to accelerate the completion of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (LVRT). As proposed in the Governor’s FY21 budget, the allocation totals $2.8 million, which will be matched by $11.3 million in federal funds, to complete construction of the trail by the summer of 2022.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott, health and education officials said at a press conference Tuesday that, while anxiety about schools reopening this fall is understandable, Vermonters can have confidence in the robust system in place to prevent spread of the virus and quickly respond to any cases that arise. The Vermont Department of Health reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Vermont has the lowest case count and the lowest positivity rate in the nation.
Vermont Business Magazine On August 6, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board committed more than $30 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to secure and rehabilitate housing for homeless households in 17 communities around the state. New apartments and emergency beds will be created for 212 households statewide in areas of greatest need. Thirteen homeless shelters that together provide 251 beds will receive support for improvements that will reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus and enable compliance with current public health protocols. Upgrades to shelters include improved ventilation systems, room dividers, additions, or reconfiguration of interiors to facilitate social distancing, no-touch faucets and soap dispensers, and automatic door openers.