Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s congressional delegation — Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) — on Monday urged Vermont dairy farmers to consider enrolling in the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, a safety net measure created in the 2018 Farm Bill to help producers manage volatile milk prices and feed costs. The enrollment period opened today, and runs through September 20.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced actions on the following bills, passed by the Legislature. While signing several bills into law, the governor vetoed the medical monitoring bill, which was widely opposed by business organizations. The Senate passed the bill 19-11 and the House passed it 100-42. The Legislature will not be able to attempt a veto override before it reconvenes next January. Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, meanwhile, said the governor has chosen "corporations that pollute over Vermonters’ health" and vowed to take up the bill again next January.
Vermont Business Magazine Mayor Miro Weinberger and community leaders today broke ground on a new, high-quality child care center in the Old North End, which is the result of a collaboration between CVOEO & Champlain Valley Head Start, Burlington Housing Authority, and the City of Burlington’s Early Learning Initiative (ELI). The new center will create 23 total child care spots, made up of 15 spots for children ages three to five years old in the fall of 2019 and eight additional spots for infants and toddlers in the fall of 2020.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today signed S.40, An act relating to testing and remediation of lead in the drinking water of schools and childcare facilities. This legislation governs statewide testing of school and childcare facilities’ drinking water for lead – a project already underway by State agencies. The new law officially puts into place a full-scale testing project that builds on a 2017 pilot program among schools to test their drinking water for lead at each tap used for drinking or cooking, and to take actions as needed to reduce lead levels.
Vermont Business Magazine Commissioner of Financial Regulation Michael Pieciak announced the creation of a restitution fund for Vermonters who fall victim to investment fraud. The Department of Financial Regulation worked closely with the Legislature to create the fund, which is included in Senate Bill 131 (Act No. 57 of 2019). It will allow fraud victims to recover a portion of their losses when full restitution is not available. The money for the victim restitution fund will come from monetary settlements of state securities law enforcement matters. No taxpayer money will be used.
Vermont Business Magazine A new annual summit designed to strengthen connections to support community and economic development in the Northeast Kingdom has gotten support from the Vermont Electric Co-op’s Community Fund. The NEK Annual Summit, organized by the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, will be held for the first time in the fall of 2019 with a focus on leadership and a specific goal of encouraging individuals from underrepresented groups to step into leadership roles in their communities. Some 200 people are expected to attend.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott on Friday announced that President Donald Trump has declared a Major Disaster for Bennington, Essex, Orange, Rutland, Washington and Windsor counties. Those counties suffered substantial damage during severe storms and flooding on April 15 of this year. A Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified more than $2 million in eligible public infrastructure damage statewide from the flooding, exceeding the $1 million minimum Vermont must demonstrate for a disaster declaration.
by Tim Briglin If we want a Vermont that works for everyone in every part of the state, we need to do better getting high-speed internet access to every corner of the state. It wasn’t so long ago that access to high-speed internet service was considered a convenience, even an extravagance. No more. Today, access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet service is a prerequisite for participating in modern society.
Vermont Business Magazine On Saturday, June 15, 2019, the Vermont State Police deployed an aggressive traffic enforcement campaign throughout Chittenden County. This was a two-phase, high visibility initiative with the first phase employing a zero-tolerance “See the Violation, Write the Violation” directive as Troopers targeted and identified aggressive driving violations and the second phase employed a high-intensity impaired driving saturation. A total of nine (9) arrests were made and numerous civil traffic violations were issued.
Vermont Business Magazine Berkshire Bank employees recently came together with Housing Trust of Rutland County to complete projects at two of the organization’s locations that provide affordable housing. The donation was a part of the bank’s annual Xtraordinary Day of Service, where the bank closes its offices early to empower employees to volunteer in their local communities. The event is in its fourth year.
Vermont Business Magazine RiseVT-Addison County has awarded several grants in the region and has $19,000 more to give out in $500-$1500 grants before the end of August. One recent grant recipient is Camp Ubuntu based in Bridport—a day camp serving elementary school youth during the last week of July and the first week of August. A $1,500 grant from RiseVT will cover the cost of an experienced guide and equipment to enable campers to have both a half day of kayaking and a half day of tubing on local waterways.
Vermont Business Magazine Older is better – for forests facing climate change. That’s the upshot of new University of Vermont research that finds older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity. The study found that increased forest age reduces the climate sensitivity of forest carbon, timber, and biodiversity to projected increases in temperature and precipitation. In other words, increased age helps to safeguard forests from climate change.