Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont House gave preliminary approval to S.23, the Minimum Wage bill on a vote of 90 - 53. The amended House version would increase the minimum wage by 2.25 times the inflation rate. The original Senate version called for a minimum wage of $15 an hour starting on January 1, 2024. However, the House inflation-based (Consumer Price Index) bill would achieve $15 an hour, at current inflation levels, in about seven years. The just-released US CPI now stands at 2.0 percent, up one-tenth from year-end 2018. The Vermont minimum wage is now $10.78, up 2.7 percent from 2018's $10.50. If the CPI stays at 2 percent, the next hike would be 4.5 percent, or $11.26 for 2020. It would reach $15 an hour (about $15.30) in 2027 at current rates.
Vermont Business Magazine US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will expand its Information Services Modernization Program to the St Albans field office on May 28. The St Albans field office provides immigration benefits to all of Vermont in addition to three counties in New York. Detailed information on the office service area is available online. USCIS anticipates expanding the program to all remaining field offices by the end of FY 2019.
Vermont Business Magazine Castleton University and SUNY Schenectady have formed a collaborative agreement that will allow students who graduate with an associate's degree in Performing Arts: Music at the upstate New York community college to earn their bachelor's degree in Music Education with licensure at Castleton.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott on Tuesday signed S154, an act relating to miscellaneous banking provisions. Present for the signing included Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Michael Pieciak, Deputy Commissioner Molly Dillon, and other members from the DFR’s Banking Division. The bill comprehensively overhauls DFR’s non-depository licensing regime to consolidate, modernize and streamline compliance. The revised regime will simplify doing business in Vermont for Fintech companies and other non-depository licenses and will reduce compliance costs for the department and the industry.
Vermont Business Magazine Dealer.com, the premier digital marketing solution and partner for auto dealerships, today announced it has teamed up with AudioEye, Inc (NASDAQ: AEYE), to create Empathy Day 2019. AudioEye is a leading provider of digital accessibility solutions that provide barrier-free website access for individuals with disabilities.
Vermont Business Magazine Rutland Regional Medical Center was awarded an ‘A’ rating from The Leapfrog Group’s spring 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, something the hospital has received consistently since 2013! Rutland Regional was one of only 832 hospitals out of over 2600 nationwide, and the only hospital in Vermont, to be awarded an “A” for its efforts in protecting patients from harm and providing safer healthcare.
Vermont Business Magazine The Community College of Vermont (CCV) will hold its 52nd commencement ceremony at Norwich University’s Shapiro Field House in Northfield, Vermont on Saturday, June 1. The ceremony will begin at 2 pm. Nearly 500 students will be awarded associate degrees. Students representing all of Vermont’s 14 counties will be graduating, along with students from 8 other states and 13 countries. Also among the graduates are 45 veteran and military students. The youngest graduate is 17 and the oldest is 76.
Vermont Business Magazine The Senate Tuesday evening unanimously passed Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy’s legislation to permanently reauthorize and increase support for the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership grant program. The bill, S1231, cosponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and 18 other bipartisan cosponsors, also increases funding for the program by $5 million to $30 million each year. The House of Representatives is expected to pass identical legislation shortly.
Vermont Business Magazine The Burlington Regional Marketing Organization, a division of the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, launched Hello Burlington, a new destination marketing organization (DMO) for the Burlington area. The organization’s mission is to stimulate tourism year-round in the greater Burlington area by establishing and growing the city’s brand. The branding will focus on positioning and promoting the city as a preferred destination for tourists, meetings, conferences, and events, which Hello Burlington hopes will bolster the local economy.
by Jack Hoffman, Public Assets Institute The Education Fund, for the most part, has stayed out of the headlines this year, perhaps because Governor Phil Scott hasn’t offered the kind of end-of-session surprises we saw in his first two years. But we should be paying close attention even if the Education Fund isn’t in the spotlight. Important decisions are at hand that affect the stability of the fund.
Vermont Business Magazine The State of Vermont recently received 3 national awards for newly redesigned agency websites. The Hermes Creative Awards have named the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, and the Department of Fish & Wildlife as Gold Winners in the Government category.
by Representative Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe) This is the final scheduled week of the 2019 Legislative Session, and, as is the case every year, the end-of-session final pushes and battles are front and center. With regard to the bill that would provide the opportunity for school districts forced to merge a year extension to do so (which passed the House by 134-10), I continue to be exceptionally disappointed in, and frustrated with, the House conferees on the H. 39 Conference Committee. Although there was overwhelming support for the bill in the House, the bill is now stalled in a House-Senate Conference Committee, largely due to bad faith negotiations on the part of the House.