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House gives preliminary approval to bill to modernize Act 250

Fri, 02/28/2020 - 10:18am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont House Thursday evening gave preliminary approval to H.926, a bill designed to update the state’s landmark Act 250 land development and use law on a voice vote. Much of the focus on this update is on easing housing development in town centers. A final vote on the bill is expected today in the House before it makes its way to the Senate and then, if it gets that far as it is expected to do, ultimately to the governor.

VHCB water quality grants available for Vermont farms up to $40,000

Fri, 02/28/2020 - 6:45am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, a program of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, has grant funds available for on-farm capital improvement projects that have a positive impact on water quality. Eligible farmers can apply for a Water Quality Grant, which provides $5,000 to $40,000 in funding. Applications are due by March 20, 2020. Matching funds are required and may include federal or state grants as well as cash, loans, or labor. More information, eligibility requirements, and applications are available on the Viability Program Website at: https://vhcb.org/WQG

Vermont has lowest residential vacancy rate in nation

Fri, 02/28/2020 - 5:45am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont and New Hampshire have the lowest rate of residential, unoccupied properties in the nation at 0.4 percent and Burlington, while the highest in Vermont, has only 26 such properties or a 0.43 percent. ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation's premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), has released its Q1 2020 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report showing that over 1.52 million U.S. single-family homes and condos are vacant, representing 1.5 percent of all homes.

Housing Vermont receives $2 million from feds

Thu, 02/27/2020 - 4:05pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) announced Thursday that the US Treasury awarded Housing Vermont a $2 million grant to support affordable housing production and preservation of roughly 900 affordable rental units. The grant was provided through the Capital Magnet Fund program. The grant was provided by the Community Development Financial Institutions’ (CDFI) Capital Magnet Fund program.

Opinion: Vermont's child care shortage sets back our rural economies

Thu, 02/27/2020 - 4:02pm -- tim

by Robert Haynes and Damian DiNicola Located in the heart of Vermont, along Interstate 89 and just south of Montpelier, the Randolph area faces the typical challenges in our state. Our area residents are working to grow our businesses and schools, ensure economic stability, and make Randolph a place young families seek for good reasons. Like most other Vermont communities, the lack of high-quality, affordable child care has created a significant barrier to our quest.   

Leahy and Sanders cosponsor minor league baseball resolution

Thu, 02/27/2020 - 3:55pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today led a bipartisan group of United States Senators introducing a resolution supporting Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and their efforts to fight Major League Baseball’s (MLB) proposed elimination or demotion of 42 MiLB clubs, including the Norwich (CT) Sea Unicorns, Lowell (MA) Spinners, West Virginia Power, Bluefield (WV, VA) Blue Jays, Princeton (WV) Rays and Vermont Lake Monsters. The Spinners and Lake Monsters play in the same league.

PAI: Legislature overruled the governor, raised the minimum wage

Thu, 02/27/2020 - 3:43pm -- tim

by Stephanie Yu, Public Assets Institute There was a celebratory feeling in the air in Montpelier on Tuesday after the Legislature overrode the governor’s veto of S.23, the bill to increase Vermont’s minimum wage. The governor rejected the bill despite the support of nearly three-quarters of Vermonters for the increase. In the end, the Legislature decided that 40,000 of the lowest-paid Vermonters needed the raise.

Magic Hat to celebrate passing of fabled Mardi Gras parade

Thu, 02/27/2020 - 2:56pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Magic Hat Brewing Company announces the return of its Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday, March 28, with a New Orleans jazz funeral-style tribute to the parade, which has officially been laid to rest. That's right, after 24 winter-warming, bead-bearing years, the much-loved parade has joined fellow floats in its eternal march in the sky.

House gives preliminary approval to retail cannabis market

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 9:45pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont House Wednesday evening advanced S.54, an act relating to the regulation of cannabis, on a vote of 90-54. The bill, which would establish legal sales of cannabis (marijuana) will be considered for a third reading on Thursday. If it passes the bill would then head to the Senate. Governor Phil Scott has said that any bill he would approve must have significant health and safety measures built into it.

Report evaluates viability of increasing dairy consumption in New England and beyond

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 4:36pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (VACCD) outlined to legislators today a report looking at the future of dairy in Vermont and the economic viability of expanding dairy markets in the northeast, major metropolitan areas and beyond. The report comes as a result of Act 83 requiring both Agencies to research these concerns and report back.

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