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Letter included in Burlington Telecom criminal review

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 11:42am -- intern

Part of the Public Service Department's decision to hand the Burlington Telecom situation over to the attorney general for criminal investigation was based on a letter that was sent by a former city attorney to CitiCapital along with Burlington Telecom's application for a $33.5 million loan in August 2007, according to a story in the Burlington Free Press.

United States Senate passes Travel Promotion Act

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 11:33am -- tim

The United States Senate passed the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) late last week by a vote of 78-18. The House already passed the bill which is now on its way to President Obama who is expected to sign the bill into law sometime this week.  
This is a major accomplishment for the hospitality industry, said Vicky Tebbetts, Vice President of the Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council. This legislation is important for the continued growth and success of the travel and tourism economy in Vermont and across the United States.    

Senate committee proposes new tax to fill unemployment fund

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 10:35am -- intern

The Senate Economic Development committee has proposed a tax on Vermont workers that would go towards replenishing the state's unemployment insurance fund, which ran out in February and is currently being funded with loans from the federal government, according to a story in the Burlington Free Press. The committee passed the bill with a 3-2 vote.

Extension of satellite TV licenses included in proposed jobs legislation

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 9:56am -- tim

Provisions negotiated by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to modernize satellite television services and to reauthorize the expiring statutory licenses that permit satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers has been included in legislation introduced Monday to bolster job growth and creation.  When enacted, the legislation will again authorize satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers. 

Douglas passes “Challenges for Change”

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 9:26am -- intern

Governor Jim Douglas passed into law last week a program called Challenges for Change, which aims to find $38 million in savings in state government operations. Rather than making traditional budget cuts, the law urges state government agencies to find new, less expensive ways of implementing their services. The program is part of the effort of state lawmakers to close a $150 million budget gap.

(Source: The Burlington Free Press)

House approves e-recycling bill

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 9:09am -- intern

Legislation passed by the Vermont House last week would make it easier to recycle computers, televisions and other electronics, according to a story in the Burlington Free Press. The bill would require manufacturers to fund the disposal of their products, which would fund free drop-off sites for e-waste in every Vermont county. Electronics companies would be required to pay a $5,000 registration fee to sell their products in the state, followed by a fee of 25 to 35 cents per pound of electronics sold.

Vermont Senate passes $8.6 million economic stimulus package

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 8:49am -- intern

The Vermont Senate has passed a bill which would use $8.6 million in federal economic stimulus money to help create more than 1000 new jobs around the state. The bill, which was drafted by the Senate Economic Development committee, will put $3 million dollars towards expanding high speed broadband internet service in rural areas of the state. $1 million will be used to provide equity capital to Vermont businesses, and an additional $1 million will help dairy farmers to refinance loans and consolidate debt. It also allocates $1 million for employment training programs.

US Leading Indicator-eLEI suggests possible double dip recession

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 8:36am -- tim

This February eLEI report brings a first possible glimpse of an upcoming double dip in the US economy.  Following 10 consecutive months of increase, eLEI has gone down.  Growth has pulled back from the previous highs reached and the recession probability has increased dramatically.  It will be important to continue to watch the recession probabilities index to determine if the course reverses.