Vermont Business Magazine As skyrocketing flight delays, cancellations, and outrageously high prices and hidden fees are leaving passengers and crew members frustrated, broke, and stranded, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Tuesday sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urging immediate action to protect the rights of airline passengers and workers. Given all of the generous taxpayer support that has been provided to the airline industry, all of us have a responsibility to make sure that passengers and crew members are treated with respect, not contempt.
Vermont Business Magazine Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division today announced the formation of the New England Prescription Opioid (NEPO) Strike Force, a joint law enforcement effort that brings together the resources and expertise of the Health Care Fraud Unit in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for three federal districts, as well as law enforcement partners at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the FBI. The mission of the NEPO Strike Force is to identify and investigate health care fraud schemes in the New England region, and to effectively and efficiently prosecute individuals involved in the illegal distribution of prescription opioids and other prescribed controlled substances. The NEPO Strike Force will primarily target criminal conduct by physicians, pharmacists, and other medical professionals, focusing upon both health care fraud and drug diversion offenses, as relevant based upon the facts of the particular case.
Vermont Business Magazine Following a formal announcement by The State of Vermont, beverages categorized as Ready-to-Drink (RTD) cocktails will be transitioning to Vermont’s private sector on July 1, 2022. This marks a significant legal change from previous policy, whereby RTDs could only be distributed and sold by the 80 802-agency liquor outlets located throughout the state. Starting next month, traditional class 1 and 2 licensed establishments will be able to stock and sell RTDs without requiring any changes to their licenses.
by Steph Yu The US Supreme Court’s decision last Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade has devastating effects on anyone who can get pregnant. Plain and simple, this ruling is a clear effort to assert control over women’s bodies and therefore our agency, our autonomy, and our freedom. Vermont has codified the right to reproductive health care in statute and will vote on a constitutional amendment to reinforce that in November. The governor issued a statement on Friday in support of that right and the amendment. But none of that means that Vermonters are shielded from the consequences of this decision.
Vermont Business Magazine Today, AARP Vermont announced that five organizations around the state will receive 2022 Community Challenge grants totally more than $54,000. The grants are part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.
Vermont Business Magazine Cathedral Square has received a 2022 AARP Community Challenge Grant, which will be used to install a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) at an existing crosswalk on Route 116 in Hinesburg near Kelley’s Field, a Cathedral Square and Evernorth affordable-housing community for older adults. Cathedral Square was one of just 260 grantees selected from 3,200 applications submitted nationwide.
Vermont Business Magazine As communities across the country grapple with access to health care, and with longstanding disparities negatively impacting the health and wellness of historically marginalized groups, the University of Vermont Medical Center released the findings of its 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment. This year’s report, conducted every three years, was the most inclusive and robust in the organization’s history of conducting the assessment. The top six community health priorities and key findings identified in the 2022 CHNA are: accessible and coordinated care, cultural humility and inclusive health care, food access and security; safe, affordable and healthy housing; mental health and wellbeing; and workforce development.
Vermont Business Magazine Comcast today announced it will expand its fast, reliable and fiber-rich network to five new communities – Elmore, Eden, Hubberdton, Stratton and Wardsboro – and further into four communities it already serves – Jamaica, Sudbury, Wolcott and Morristown – as part of its latest project to make broadband available to more Vermonters. This network expansion delivers Comcast’s innovative portfolio of Xfinity and Comcast Business services, including residential broadband speeds up to 6 gigabits per second (Gbps) and business speeds up to 100 Gbps.
Vermont Business Magazine Along with more than 100 environmental and community groups around the US, the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) has signed on to a United States Supreme Court brief in a case that will determine which waters will receive protection under the Clean Water Act (CWA), to protect small tributaries and wetlands. The brief is filed in support of the Environmental Protection Agency in the case, Sackett v. EPA.
Vermont Business Magazine The VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region is pleased to partner with the Stratton Foundation, a community-based non-profit organization caring about the health and welfare of children and families in Southern Vermont. Through the Stratton Foundation’s “Feed the Community” initiative and outreach in times of crisis, the agency received $2000 in gift cards for groceries and gas. The cards will be distributed to patients served in Arlington, Danby, Dorset, Manchester, and Sunderland.
by John McClaughry The US Supreme Court’s June 21 decision in the Maine pupil tuitioning case (Carson v. Makin) brings to a head a long-simmering issue in Vermont education. Under what circumstances, if any, may public money find its way into sectarian elementary and secondary schools? Like Vermont, Maine has many lightly populated school districts that do not contain a public secondary school. For over a hundred years Maine and Vermont law has allowed such districts to tuition secondary and sometimes elementary school pupils to schools of their choice, even schools in other states or abroad. In Vermont some 7,000 K-12 pupils benefit from tuitioning.
Vermont Business Magazine Starting this summer, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and its partners will implement a piece of landmark legislation, revamping how funding is distributed to clean water project implementers. Vermont’s Clean Water Service Delivery Act (Act 76 of 2019) establishes a decentralized network of entities called “Clean Water Service Providers” who, under advisement of "Basin Water Quality Councils,” will administer Water Quality Restoration Formula Grant funds to project implementers to identify, implement, and maintain clean water projects at a river basin level (eg, the Winooski River basin). June 30th, 2022, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.