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E4H expands with Virginia-firm merger

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 3:54pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine E4H Environments for Health Architecture, a Williston and Boston-based architecture firm focused exclusively on healthcare, today announced it has merged with Virginia-based RSG Architects, an 18-year old firm focused solely on designing best in class medical facilities. As part of E4H, RSG will continue to operate independently, but will have the advantage of being part of a national firm with offices in New England, New York, Tennessee and Texas.

Sanders hails victories for Vermont in budget deal

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 3:37pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) issued the following statement Thursday on the appropriations bill released last night to fund the federal government through September 30: “As the ranking member of the Budget Committee and a member of Democratic leadership, I am proud of the many initiatives that I fought for in this budget that will help Vermont’s working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and our veterans.

Welch supports, House approves omnibus Appropriations Bill

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 3:33pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont) issued the following statement following his vote in favor of the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, which passed the House on a vote of 256-167: “I voted for this bill because, on balance, it is good for Vermont and good for the country. First, it is a bipartisan agreement that restores stability and predictability to the federal budget process through fiscal year 2019. We must end the practice of short-term continuing resolutions, budget brinkmanship and government shutdowns.

Taxpayer-funded congressional reports to be made available to the public

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 2:28pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) secured a key transparency win in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill – which funds the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year – released Wednesday night.  The final bill includes a provision he added to make all non-confidential reports prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) freely available to public schools and libraries across the country.

Smith: Understanding Vermont’s energy policies

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 12:28pm -- tim

by Annette Smith Most Vermonters accept the reality of climate change and support shifting our energy needs towards renewables.  But in my conversations with Vermonters I have found that almost no one fully understands the mechanisms that have been put in place to achieve the state’s renewable energy goals. In fact, our energy policies are so complicated and convoluted that even Vermont legislators – many of whom consistently vote in favor of bills purporting to bring the state closer to a goal of 90% renewables by 2050 – don’t really understand them. 

Leahy: Appropriations Bill includes funding for Lake Champlain, rural communities, combating the opioid epidemic

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 12:00pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders Wednesday morning completed lengthy and intense negotiations on an appropriations bill to fund the federal government through September 30.  Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, played a leading role in the negotiations, on which work began last May, and secured several key victories for Vermont.

VPR names Scott Finn as its new president and CEO

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:21am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Public Radio Board of Directors has appointed Scott Finn as its new President and CEO. VPR announced the appointment today. Finn, 46, is the CEO and Executive Director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB), a public radio and television network with a statewide audience of more than 2 million. During his tenure, Finn oversaw the transformation of the organization, enhancing its financial sustainability and overhauling content and programming to dramatically increase fundraising and audience. He also led the network to adopt its first formal strategic plan, which resulted in the station launching the national podcast Us and Them, doubling the number of stations carrying its NPR music program Mountain Stage and creating its health reporting project, Appalachia Health News.

House passes education bill, governor opposes cost shift to income

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 10:36am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The House on Wednesday passed the Education Finance Reform Bill, H.911 on a vote of 85-54. The bill provides a comprehensive restructuring of the Education Fund; updates the Vermont personal income tax code to streamline it with the federal changes; and eliminates taxable Social Security benefits from for low and middle-income Vermonters. However, it does not have the support of Governor Phil Scott, who said Wednesday night at the Best Places to Work in Vermont event in Burlington that the bill has no cost containment measure and simply shifts some of the education expense from the property tax to a new personal income tax.

Home battery storage owners can reduce energy costs through GMP’s 'BYOD' program

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 5:20am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power has announced a new program to partner with customers to reduce costs during high energy use times. During peak times such as cold winter nights or hot summer days, GMP will share access with customers’ home or business battery storage systems, rather than purchasing expensive surplus power. In return, GMP will issue credits to customers based on the amount of energy transferred from the customer’s battery to the grid. The monthly credit starts at $14.50. This is one of the first “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) programs using batteries to be offered by a utility, and provides value to the people or private companies who sell and install the batteries, the customers who sign up, and all customers GMP serves. 

EPA grants available to protect public health and the environment in New England

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 3:59am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The US Environmental Protection Agency is making grants available for New England communities to support EPA’s “Back-to-Basics” agenda to reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health and improve the quality of life. EPA New England’s Healthy Communities Grant Program is accepting proposals for projects that will benefit one or more New England communities. EPA plans to award about 10 cooperative agreements.


Health Department designates Jay Peak Gold-level participant in statewide initiative

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 3:52pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Jay Peak Resort today announced it has been recognized as a Gold-level participant in the 3>4>50 initiative, a statewide Department of Health program with the goal of helping people understand and address the impact of chronic disease in Vermont. 3>4>50 represents three behaviors—lack of physical activity, poor diet and tobacco use—that lead to four chronic diseases—cancer, heart disease/stroke, type 2 diabetes and lung disease. These diseases result in more than 50 percent of all deaths in Vermont each year. The initiative aims to unite businesses, schools and communities around a common goal, to make the healthy option the easy option where people live, work, learn and play. Jay Peak is the only resort to have received the Gold-level designation.

Vermont Senate passes bill to help Vermonters harmed by toxic contamination

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 3:46pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Senate passed a bill (S197) that helps Vermonters who have been harmed by toxic chemical contamination and face increased medical expenses, reduced property value, and other harms as a result of the chemical contamination. The Senate vote was 17-13, with several Democrats voting against the bill.