Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) Friday, along with seven of his Senate colleagues, sent a letter to Kaiser Permanente Chair and CEO Greg Adams in support of the more than 30,000 nurses and health care workers planning to strike unless negotiations for a fair contract improve. The strike is set to take place November 15 with workers at health care facilities in California, Colorado, Washington DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer today released a plan that could reduce health care costs in the state health insurance plan by upwards of $16 million a year. Health care spending for the 25,000 people on the state plan matters because it's a significant and growing expense for Vermont. From 2010 to 2019, annual medical payments for state employees, retirees, and their families increased by 51%, from $94 million to $142 million. That’s a combined $245 million in increased payments.
Public Assets Institute Vermont’s education funding system is built on fairness to taxpayers, to communities, and to students. It is a state-funded system that allows local communities to make their own spending decisions while giving every community equal access to the state pool of education resources. Rather than leaving each community to fend for itself, in Vermont we are all responsible for supporting all of the state’s students, and we strive to ensure that all can succeed regardless of their needs.
Speaker Jill Krowinski “The first thing that came to mind when I saw today’s case count of 591 was, ‘Why? Why is more action not being taken to protect Vermonters and keep our communities safe? Why don’t we implement the strategies we know work, like a mask mandate, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?’ The Governor has stated that he has the tools available to support our communities, but has yet to utilize those tools and has not articulated when the appropriate time is to roll out the mitigation strategies we know work. That time is now. That time was yesterday. That time was a month ago."
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health is reporting today that COVID-19 cases spiked to 591, which is by far the most on record. After a surge in cases last week, cases had been relatively quiet, with 201 Wednesday, 189 Tuesday and 235 Monday. Last week's elevated case counts went through Sunday (376 cases), the third highest on record. Cases last Friday were 377 and there were 487 cases last Thursday, which was the previous all-time record. The 13 worst days have all come since mid-September, following from the Delta variant surge that began in July. Vermont officials were concerned that there would be a post-Halloween spike in cases, as there was last year. Legislative leaders renewed their calls today for Governor Scott to renew a mask mandate.
by Anson Tebbetts November: a month of transition; a time to reflect and give thanks. We honor our community and the many ways that our fellow Vermonters contribute to our collective well-being. We are grateful for our harvest and being able to share our abundance. As we honor Veterans on November 11, we are thinking of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Vermont. After discharge, many of our state’s veterans have the opportunity for a new focus, and some are choosing to work with the land. With a mission to mobilize veterans to feed America, the Coalition has set up a robust network of a new generation of farmers and food leaders. Their work is to develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont gasoline prices are up another two cents from last week but appeared to have plateaued after several months of rising prices. US prices overall fell by one cent since last week. The national average has been higher than Vermont's for most of the last year.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine General, Education, and Transportation Fund cumulative tax revenues were slightly below targets for October 2021, the first month of the second quarter. Revenues remain above targets for the year-to-date. Notably, the personal income tax, which has been well above targets for months, was off by nearly $4 million in October (-4.5%). The PI is the state’s most important General Fund revenue source. It remains, however, nearly $12 million ahead of targets for the fiscal year (+3.81%).
Vermont Business Magazine "Today we pause to honor the brave men and women who served our state and nation in the Armed Services. Thousands of Vermonters have served our country over the course of American history, and too many never made it home... On Veterans Day in Vermont, we honor the over 43,000 veterans who call our state home, as well as the millions more across the country who have served and sacrificed to protect our nation... As we recognize, honor, and remember their service, we must, as a community, do more. We must commit ourselves to keeping America’s promise to our veterans and servicemembers, just as they kept their promise to us. That means making certain that veterans and their families get all the benefits they earned through their service, on time and without delay."
Vermont Business Magazine Norwich University cadets, alumni and friends will continue their tradition of marching 50 miles to raise money for the Veterans’ Place Inc., a Northfield transition home and support center for homeless veterans. The three-day, Annual Legacy March begins Thursday, Nov. 11, in Norwich, Vermont — Norwich University’s original “hometown” — and ends Saturday, Nov. 13, with the students arriving back to Northfield for lunch. The Legacy March has raised more than $30,000 over the years to support Vermont and national veteran’s organizations.
Vermont Business Magazine The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced an investment of $20.2 million in the Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) Initiatives. DBI awarded $18.4 million to three current Initiatives at the University of Tennessee, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the University of Wisconsin, and $1.8 million to the California State University Fresno. Grants to dairy businesses will include access to professional marketing and branding services, on-farm and processor innovation, and sustainable packaging innovation.
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power’s (GMP) President and CEO Mari McClure is one of Business Insider’s Top 100 People Transforming Business in 2021, a prestigious annual list that profiles leaders across 10 sectors who are innovators, problem solvers and trend makers. Business Insider described the 2021 featured leaders as “the disrupters and thought leaders that are driving unprecedented change, both for their organizations and communities, and across the global business world.” Among the honorees are CitiGroup CEO Jane Fraser, author and historian Ibram X. Kendi, and recording artist Lil Nas X. McClure is featured in the Sustainability category.