by Paul A Cillo, President, Public Assets Institute To make the system understandable for voters, the state needs to choose one of the two options for a statewide tax paid by residents with rates that can be set in each school district based on spending per pupil. Property and income are the two options. We recommend an income-based tax as the fairest, simplest one.
Vermont Business Magazine Burlington School District (BSD) invites members of the community to participate in a School Safety Task Force as requested by the Board of School Commissioners in a resolution passed on June 25, 2020. The resolution charges the School Safety Task Force with reviewing the role of School Resource Officers (SROs) and presenting recommendations to further the District’s policy goals of implementing all elements of Restorative Practices (RP) as part of the District’s priorities of ensuring equitable and safe inclusive schools.
Vermont Business Magazine Bennington College has received a $25,000 Presidential Grant for Alternate Academic Delivery from the Davis Educational Foundation, which will support both the technology upgrades necessary for the Fall 2020 term’s pivot to a hybrid model blending in-person and remote instruction, as well as the continuation of a faculty pedagogical workshop series that focuses on hybrid teaching techniques. The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets The Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance Application combines three different bills and a variety of eligibility components into one application. We’ve built this application to do most of the difficult thinking on the back end, and in doing so, we understand that has caused some confusion for applicants.
JAG received a $100,000 unrestricted grant for operations from the Bay & Paul Foundation out of New York, NY on July 28th. Their mission is to, “foster and accelerate initiatives that prepare agents of change working to strengthen our social compact and develop authentic solutions to the challenges of this pivotal century.”
Vermont State Police At 9 pm on Saturday, Vermont State Police received a 911 call from a residence on Henwood Hill Road in the Town of Westminster (Windsor County) Vermont, reporting that an unknown male unlawfully entered their home covered in blood and holding a small child. Vermont State Police responded to the residence on Henwood Hill Road in Westminster and spoke to the homeowners. The homeowners stated that the unknown male left the property after he found out the police were called. The homeowners stated that the unknown male and child were covered in blood and left on foot.
Agency of Commerce & Community Development Landlords and property owners that have vacant, unused rental properties may be eligible to receive up to a $30,000 grant per rental unit to fix up and renovate rental units and get them ready for use again. Grants are available from the Department of Housing and Community Development utilizing CARES Act funding to improve the overall quality, availability, and affordability of rental housing throughout the state.
Leonine Public Affairs The House Appropriations Committee voted unanimously to approve the full FY2021 budget this week. The bill, H.969, passed the House on Friday. The Senate Appropriations Committee spent much of the week reviewing the bill and will officially start work on it next week. Senate policy committees including Health and Welfare and Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs are preparing their recommendations for Senate Appropriations on how to allocate the almost $200 million in remaining Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD, issued the following statement about the development and future distribution of a possible COVID-19 vaccine: While we look forward to a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, we hear the fears expressed by many that political pressure is being applied to rush approval of a vaccine before it has been properly tested. Let me be clear. We stand with science.
Vermont Business Magazine The Northeast and the US as a whole are improving as COVID-19 case counts decrease in most areas of the country with the exception of the upper Midwest. Vermont continues to be "the safest place in America" as the state has the fewest total COVID-19 cases, the fewest cases per capita, and the lowest positivity rate. Dr Levine said Friday that as long as existing health precautions are followed, Vermonters can likely still look forward to Halloween. Yes, he said, that means wearing a mask.
by Jack Hoffman, Public Assets Institute Dithering in Washington has left a lot of states scrambling to figure out how to pay for the support and services their citizens desperately need. In Vermont, Washington’s paralysis means the Legislature will have just over a month to determine whether the $7.1 billion budget Governor Phil Scott proposed for the current fiscal year will be adequate to get Vermonters, including individuals and businesses who have seen federal support dry up, through the coronavirus pandemic. In a normal year, House and Senate committees spend four or five months taking testimony, negotiating, and deliberating on appropriations bills.
Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan has prevailed on a motion-to-dismiss filed by Clearview AI in the lawsuit to stop the facial recognition company from collecting and selling images of Vermonters. The Court’s ruling means the case, which was filed in April, may now move forward. The case is pending in Chittenden Superior Court, Civil Division. In its motion, Clearview failed to persuade the Court that it has a First Amendment right to engage in its facial recognition surveillance practices and “near absolute immunity” from suit under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Clearview also argued that the State’s claims were void for vagueness under the Constitution and that the State lacked standing to bring the suit. The Court rejected all of these arguments.