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Lawmakers advancing $56.8 million in funding for state colleges

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 10:04am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont House is advancing a state budget that includes a historic $56.8 million of funding for the Vermont State College System. This represents a maintenance of the $30 million of annual base funding, a special $23.8 million emergency bridge to stabilize the colleges’ finances, and $3 million for COVID-crisis workforce training.

Green Lantern Solar completes construction of 500kW array in Vernon

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 6:50am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Waterbury-based renewable energy company, Green Lantern Solar, completed construction of a 500 kW AC solar array in Vernon, Vermont. This array joins just over 100 projects in Vermont developed by Green Lantern, accounting for nearly 40 megawatts (MW) of new in-state solar power to Vermont’s grid. Sixty-six towns all over Vermont now host Green Lantern arrays.

UVM Medical Center wins national environmental award

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 3:29am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont Medical Center has been honored as one of 25 hospitals to receive the Environmental Excellence award by Practice Greenhealth, a leading national advocate for sustainable practices in health care. The Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award is Practice Greenhealth’s highest honor for hospitals and recognizes efforts to address links between the environment and human health, use data to demonstrate successes, and show leadership in their local communities and across the health care sector.

House gives final approval to Global Warming Solutions Act

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 5:44pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont House today gave final approval to H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act, on a vote of 102-45. The House concurred with the Senate proposal of amendment and the bill will now be sent to Governor Scott. The governor suggested at his press conference Tuesday that he would veto the bill if it came to his desk without changes, which were not forthcoming. He does not explicitly comment on whether he will sign a bill or not until it reaches his desk. The bill will need to go through the usual legal vetting process first.

Buy Local Vermont Program fully subscribed in under 24 hours

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 5:09pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) announced today that the Buy Local Vermont Program is now fully subscribed and $425,000 is on its way to 959 locally owned businesses. The pilot program, funded through an allocation of the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), launched to consumers at 11 am on Tuesday, September 8. At the time the program opened, 1,052 businesses from every county were vetted and approved to be a part of the program. Ninety-one percent of those businesses (959) will receive money from the program from the deals consumers selected. In total, 20,857 Vermonters activated verification codes and 11,847 received discount offers to local businesses in their communities.

VDH COVID-19 Update: Two new cases, contact tracing explained

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 4:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported today that recent COVID-19 cases remain low, with two today. The VDH is also prepared for any outbreak, including for contact tracing. Contact tracing is not a notification system. A contact tracer determines the epidemiological facts – things like when a person was actually contagious, and then identifying who they may have been within 6 feet of, for at least 15 minutes.

Donovan joins lawsuit to protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 2:46pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan today announced filing a federal lawsuit, along with 14 other Attorneys General, against the federal government to protect the Coastal Plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas development. The cause of the lawsuit is the authorization by the federal government of an oil and gas leasing program, which opens the Coastal Plain to potential future oil and gas exploration and development. The lawsuit argues that by increasing greenhouse gas emissions oil and gas development will exacerbate the impacts of climate change on the environment and economy. It will also have devastating impacts on migratory birds that migrate through the lower 48 states, including Vermont.

Leahy urges action on new COVID relief bill

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 2:02pm -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy We are in the middle of a public health crisis, and the American people are hurting.  Nearly 190,000 people have died. Millions have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. People are being evicted from their homes and struggling to feed their families. And the virus is still not under control. The need for another emergency funding bill to address the COVID crisis is clear. Yet four weeks ago, the Trump administration and Senate Republican Leadership walked away from the negotiating table. Democrats offered compromise. Republicans said, “my way or the highway” and left town.

Vermont Community Foundation announces five COVID-19 recovery initiatives

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 1:59pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Community Foundation announced five key recovery initiatives that will be the focus of upcoming grant rounds from the VT COVID-19 Response Fund. Since the Fund’s inception, the Community Foundation has granted over $2.6 million to support pandemic response, while earmarking a significant portion of the more than $7.4 million raised to support initiatives that the Foundation has identified as essential to help the state recover from—and improve upon—major challenges magnified by the pandemic.

VPR and Vermont PBS will merge

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 1:33pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the boards of Vermont PBS and Vermont Public Radio unanimously voted to join together to create a new public media organization, to better serve the community. The new organization will be led by Scott Finn, current president and CEO of VPR. Steve Ferreira, acting Vermont PBS CEO, will serve as COO. The merger is expected to be completed next spring. In the meantime, there will be no program changes at either organization.