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Roper: The least secure election system in the nation

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 3:26am -- tim

by Rob Roper Vermont is on the cusp of having the least secure election system in the nation. The bill that passed the Vermont senate 27-3 (S.15) is now under consideration in the house. It would make permanent the temporary, COVID-emergency provisions adopted for the 2020 general election, including the policy of mailing “live” ballots to all voters who are active on the voter checklist, regardless of whether or not the voter requests an absentee ballot. 

Work search requirement for unemployment insurance reinstated

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 9:26pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The work search requirement for unemployment insurance has been reinstated and is effective beginning May 9 – May 15. This means if you are fully or partially unemployed, you will be required to conduct work search activities and report those activities when filing your weekly claim unless you meet one of the work search exemptions explained below. To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you are required to actively search for work and accept work when it is offered to you.

Scott statement on FDA approval of vaccine eligibility for those 12-15

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 8:42pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement: “With the FDA‘s approval to expand eligibility for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to those 12-15 years old, the country takes another important step towards defeating this virus and getting back to doing all the things we enjoy..."

VDH COVID-19 Update: 33 new cases, no deaths, many walk-in clinics

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 5:39pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health is reporting today 33 new cases of COVID-19 after only six on Sunday. Deaths are still holding at 249 statewide. All Vermont residents age 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated! College students and some residents of another state are now eligible for vaccines. Whether a Vermont resident or qualified non-resident, there are numerous opportunities to sign up for a vaccine or simply go to a walk-in clinic.

Hoffer report: Examining Vermont State Spending on the Dairy Industry

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 5:00pm -- tim

$285 million from 2010 and $35 million in 2019 alone

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer today released a first-ever comprehensive accounting of Vermont state government’s total annual spending in support of Vermont’s dairy industry. From State fiscal year 2010 to 2019, the State Auditor’s Office estimates that Vermont taxpayers spent more than $285 million on programs and policies to support the dairy industry and/or address adverse environmental impacts caused by some dairy practices. In fiscal year 2019, the most recent year of the analysis, spending totaled more than $35 million.

New UVM/faculty union contract recognizes need for fiscal prudence

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 3:58pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont and its full-time faculty union, United Academics, have finalized an unprecedented 4-year labor contract that values the faculty and their contributions to the university, and recognizes the need for ongoing fiscal prudence, the UVM administration said in a statement announcing the agreement. The union said it was able to hold off cuts to base pay and benefits during the negotiations, which lasted virtually through the pandemic.

State co-leads coalition urging Facebook to abandon launch of 'Instagram Kids'

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 3:40pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Citing serious concerns about the safety and well-being of children and the harm social media poses to them, Attorney General TJ Donovan has co-led a coalition of 44 attorneys general urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13. In a letter sent today to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the coalition contends that social media can be detrimental to children for many reasons and that Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms.

VPR wins three 2020 Regional Edward R Murrow Awards

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 2:41pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Public Radio has won three 2021 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for its journalism in 2020 from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). The winning coverage includes: Excellence in Innovation: But Why Live Broadcasts For At-Home Learning; Feature Reporting: ‘Our Moms Have To Talk’: Pocket Dial Connects Grieving Moms—Reporter Nina Keck; Podcast: Brave Little State.

Governor proclaims May 9-15 as Inclusion Week in Vermont

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 2:35pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott proclaimed May 9-15, 2021 Inclusion Week in Vermont and reiterated Vermont’s commitment to welcoming all people. The governor also established a Proclamation of Inclusion, which makes clear the State of Vermont condemns discrimination in all forms, and welcomes all people who want to live, work and visit Vermont. Both proclamations acknowledge the work of many in state and local government and by community groups across the state, while recognizing there is more work to do to consistently address racism and systemic inequities.

Schubart: Vermont’s planning and development needs the Hub and Spoke model

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 1:13pm -- tim

By Bill Schubart The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD)’s deep dive into the issues facing Vermont is informed by interviews with and input from thousands of Vermonters. There are several lenses through which one must view the generation and implementation of public policy in Vermont. We’ve all seen top-down mandates succeed. Governor Dean Davis’s Billboard Law and Act 250 were two examples. Both have survived challenges. We’ve also seen them fail as in Governor Shumlin’s Single-payer Healthcare initiative. Still others like Act 46, the bill mandating Statewide School District Mergers, flounder.

Sanders to hold Budget Committee hearing on wasteful Pentagon spending

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 12:47pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) today announced that the Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday, May 12 at 11 am, on “Waste, Fraud, Cost Overruns, and Auditing at the Pentagon.” Over the past 20 years, the military industrial complex has spent over $2.6 billion in lobbying and campaign contributions to influence Congress. Currently, the US spends more on our nation’s military than the next nine countries combined and over half of our discretionary spending goes to the Pentagon.