New initial claims for unemployment fell again, meaning July could mark the lowest number for a month since late last summer when final numbers are released. For the Week of 07/25/2009, there were 830 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, a decrease of 77 from the week before. Altogether 13,076 new and continuing claims were filed, 478 fewer than a week ago and 5,881 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 3,799 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 123 more than a week ago.
US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is bringing US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to Capitol Hill on Wednesday (today) to discuss an effort Leahy is leading to boost USDA s floor price for purchasing dairy products. More than a dozen senators including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) -- from several regions of the country are expected to attend the meeting with Vilsack on Wednesday afternoon in the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing room.
Representative Peter Welch will announce the creation of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus at a Capitol Hill press conference later this morning. The Caucus will be a bipartisan organization consisting of more than 40 lawmakers from across the nation. The group will seek to confront the growing crisis in the dairy industry, which has been suffering from low milk prices and escalating production costs.
Representative Peter Welch voted yesterday in favor of several bills designed to support disabled veterans. All of the bills were later passed by the House.
The legislation will provide for family members who care for disabled veterans, increase compensation to certain veterans, and facilitates research programs at Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals.
Senator Bernie Sanders has called upon Dean Foods - the top producer of fluid milk in the U.S. and a company that controls fully 70 percent of the New England milk market - to rise the low prices it currently pays to dairy farmers.
Speaker Smith and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin today sent a letter to Entergy Corporation to inform them that it will be very difficult for the Vermont General Assembly to act on the question of continued operation of the Vermont Yankee plant unless a power purchase agreement is reached between Entergy and Vermont utilities before November 1, 2009.
The letter is pasted below.
July 28, 2009
Mr. Jay Thayer
C/O MacLean, Meehan and Rice
45 Court St
Montpelier, Vt 05602
Dear Mr. Thayer:
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday morning that Vermont will receive $5,045,045 in economic recovery grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of law enforcement officers. The grants to 25 law enforcement agencies across Vermont are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency s COPS Hiring Recovery Program.
The Vermont Institute of Natural Science recently welcomed Food Network star Rachael Ray to the VINS Nature Center in Quechee. On Wednesday July 22nd, Rachael and her husband, John Cusimano, lead singer of the band The Cringe, visited VINS to film a segment for Rachael s popular television show, Rachael s Vacations.
Rutland Town will soon host one of the largest – and most visible – solar projects in the state. The Vermont Public Service Board has approved Central Vermont Public Service’s plans to build a 50-kilowatt solar array along Route 7, just south of the black water tower near the CVPS Rutland District Service Center. Several elements of the project have been planned and will be built or installed by Stafford Technical Center students, including a shed, signage and landscape designs.
The Nuclear Energy Institute has produced four video news releases that examine innovations that have been recognized with a Top Industry Practice award. The final video features the Entergy Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon. The video, "Robotic Inspectors," highlights new inspection devices developed at the Vermont Yankee nuclear energy station to closely analyze the facility's steam dryer. Entergy Nuclear employees at Vermont Yankee are recipients of the Maintenance Process Award for developing innovative tooling for the inspection of a boiling water reactor steam dryer.
US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that more than $52 million is now available for Vermont under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This funding will lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs at risk of state and local budget cuts. Vermont will be eligible to apply for another $25 million this fall. Today s funding is being made available per Vermont s successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1.
Vermont's congressional delegation announced today that $8,799,600 in recovery funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in Vermont. The latest installment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this funding will go to State Energy Program (SEP) projects that prioritize energy savings, create or retain jobs, increase the use of renewable energy and reduce harmful carbon emissions.