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Sanders introduces bill to provide financial assistance to students in need

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 4:21pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Tuesday introduced new legislation to extend Social Security benefits to age 26 for students who are survivors, children of disabled workers, and eligible grandchildren of retired workers. The Senators’ legislation, the Helping Students Successfully Overcome Adversity and Rise (SOAR) with Social Security Act, would restore critical supports for families and bolster the higher education success of their children.

Scott, Cabinet officials urge Congress to support bipartisan infrastructure framework

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 2:34pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and members of his Cabinet are urging Congress to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF), negotiated by a group of Democratic and Republican senators and the White House. At a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Scott was joined by Joe Flynn, secretary of the Agency of Transportation, Julie Moore, secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources and June Tierney, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, to discuss the benefits of the package.

Welch to host virtual town hall on the threat to voting rights today

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 12:09pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today at 6pm, Representative Peter Welch (Vermont) and Representative Joaquin Castro (TX) will host a virtual town hall event to discuss the fight to protect voting rights, the rise of voter suppression legislation across the country, and what people can do to help the effort to combat these laws. Since January 2021, state legislators in 48 states have introduced over 390 proposed laws to make it harder to vote. To date, 28 of these bills have been signed into law in 17 states.

DFR report finds $2.2 million in health insurance premium relief warranted

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 10:31am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) on Tuesday released a report examining the financial impacts of COVID-19 on Vermont’s commercial health insurance marketplace to determine whether any consumer premium relief is warranted. The report focuses on the financial performance of BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont (BCBSVT), MVP Health Group (MVP), the Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI), and Cigna throughout the pandemic. Specifically, BCBSVT’s Medicare Supplement and Cigna’s large group market segments, which together totaled approximately $2.2 million in COVID-19 related profits. However, the report also concludes that additional premium relief in these or other market segments may be warranted in the future.

McClaughry: The teachers’ union’s new pupil indoctrination plan

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 4:45am -- tim

by John McClaughry There was a time, fifty years ago, when many teachers, superintendents, and academics belonged to their professional group, founded as the Vermont Teachers Association in 1850. For many years public school teachers – mostly women – usually had the respect of the community but barely enough salary to pay their bills. So in 1969 education activists persuaded a Republican legislature and governor to enact a collective bargaining law. 

Governor appoints Patty Richards and Dan Nelson to Broadband Board

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 5:27pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced the appointment of Patty Richards and Dan Nelson to the newly established Vermont Community Broadband Board. Richards will serve as chair and Nelson will fill one of four board member positions. The Board will be responsible for awarding grants and assisting the Communication Union Districts (CUDs) in their planning, development, and implementation of broadband projects.

SBA: All EIDLS deferred until 2022

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 5:21pm -- tim

SBA Vermont District Office The Small Business Administration reminds all Economic Injury Disaster Loan borrowers the agency extended deferment period for all disaster loans, including COVID-19 EIDLs, until 2022. The SBA continues to accept EIDL applications. EIDLs have affordable terms with a 30-year maturity and a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% interest rate for nonprofit organizations. Interest continues to accrue during the deferment period and borrowers may make full or partial payments if they choose.

Leahy requests updates on enforcement of antitrust act over health insurers

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 5:14pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Steve Daines (R-Mont) on Tuesday requested updates from both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice on their recent efforts to combat anticompetitive conduct in the health insurance industry. The two senators recently served as chief cosponsors of the bipartisan Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, which protects consumers by repealing a long-outdated antitrust exemption for the health insurance industry.

Burlington businesses respond to increase in violent attacks

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 4:49pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine In response to increased incidents of violence and threatening behavior in the Downtown, a group of businesses and community stakeholders have come together to establish the Safety Escort Program. With organizational support from the Burlington Business Association (BBA), the Safety Escort Program will provide on-call Safety Escorts in the general downtown area. By phone or text, anyone can request a Safety Escort and a friendly Ambassador will walk them to or from their vehicle, building, hotel, or workplace. The service will have a special focus on supporting retail and nightlife employees.

Seventh Generation names Alison Whritenour as Chief Executive Officer

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 3:26pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Seventh Generation today announced it has named Alison Whritenour to serve as Chief Executive Officer. Whritenour represents the next chapter of leadership that will continue to accelerate business growth while working toward the company’s mission to make the world a healthy, sustainable and equitable place for the next seven generations. During her nine years at Seventh Generation, Whritenour has held many roles across brand marketing, innovation and customer development, most recently serving as Head of Sales.

Walk-in vaccination clinics available this week

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 2:06pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced a series of new pop-up walk-in vaccination clinics available across Vermont beginning this week. Vermont leads the nation in COVID-19 vaccination rates. 83.2 percent of the eligible population has already received at least one dose of vaccine. This week one more person died from the disease, which was the first this month. Overall, 259 Vermonters have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Daily cases, while still low, have about doubled to an average of 13 over the last week. The VDH is reporting 11 cases today.