by Alicia Freese April 24, 2013 vtdigger.org The House gave preliminary approval to a bill Wednesday that’s designed to curb education spending and relieve some of the burden that school budgets put on the state’s property tax payers. Earlier this session, lawmakers approved a 5-cent increase in the state property tax rate to fund the cumulative $70 million increase in school budgets.
by Andrew Stein April 24, 2013 vtdigger.org Last week, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee sent the Appropriations Committee a memo with its budget recommendations.
At the top of its list was a suggestion to fund subsidies to prevent lower income working Vermonters from experiencing sharp hikes in their annual out-of-pocket liability.
Representatives Peter Welch (D-Vermont) and Bill Owens (D-NY) are urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to abandon a proposal to study whether fees should be assessed on passengers and pedestrians crossing into the United States at land crossings such as the ones in Vermont and New York.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Welch and Owens urge her to reject the proposal, which was included in the Department’s FY2014 budget request.
by Andrew Stein April 25, 2013 vtdigger.org What started out as a streamlining of the state’s health insurance rate review process has morphed into a costlier bill with two new appendages and a life of its own.
Governor Peter Shumlin, Agency of Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder and the Working Lands Enterprise Board will announce the 1st round of grant recipients from the “Enterprise Investment Area” of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund on Thursday May 2
by Nat Rudarakanchana April 24, 2013 vtdigger.org Despite some apparent disagreement recently, the House and Senate jointly crafted a final transportation package for the state by Wednesday afternoon, including increases in the gas and diesel tax.
Darn Tough Vermont, American manufacturer of the only premium, performance socks with an unconditional lifetime guarantee, reports that Q1 2013 sales and profitability were the best ever for the first quarter in its, and parent Cabot Hosiery’s, 35-year history. Year to date Q1 topline growth was up 66% versus the corresponding period in 2012, while January marked the company’s best month ever with revenue up 93% compared to January 2012.
by Andrew Stein April 22, 2013 vtdigger.org Despite local opposition, the Seneca Mountain Wind Project received a preliminary green light to build four temporary meteorological (MET) towers in the Northeast Kingdom.
A Public Service Board hearing officer recommended to the board that it provide permits for two MET towers in Brighton and one tower in Newark, where many townspeople oppose the proposal. Newark has gone so far as to adopt new town plan language opposing such projects. The other tower is slated for Ferdinand.
Shelburne Museum has been awarded two grants totaling $55,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts and People’s United Bank. The grants support educational programming and a major new exhibition of art by NC, Andrew and Jamie Wyeth.
by Anne Galloway April 24, 2013 vtdigger.org At last a magic number has been pulled out of the hat. For weeks, Senator Tim Ashe (D-Chittenden) has been mum about just how much money his committee, Senate Finance, needs to raise. Ashe has maintained all along that he won’t raise more taxes than necessary, and he’s been waiting on Senate Appropriations to tell him what the bottom line number will be.
Vermont State College Chancellor Tim Donovan announced during Lyndon State College’s Regional Business and Education Summit on April 18 that the VSC was committing to a multi-phase program that would create a new workforce education system in the Northeast Kingdom intended to become a model for the rest of the state.
Vermont's 43rd annual Green Up Day takes place on Saturday May 4. Volunteers across the state will come together in their communities to clean up litter from roadsides and trash in public places.
WHEN: is Green Up Day?
Always the first Saturday in May, May 4, 2013
WHAT: is Green Up Day?
Leading hearth and grill manufacturer Vermont Castings Group has announced that, after receiving interest from a number of potential buyers, it has partnered with a financial buyer which has signed a Letter of Intent to purchase the company. Among its many brands, Vermont Castings manufactures the famous Defiant wood stove. It employs about 175 at its plants in Randolph and Bethel.
by Nat Rudarakanchana April 23, 2013 vtdigger.org The Senate Finance Committee voted 5-1-1 to back Governor Peter Shumlin’s push to forgive four tax increment financing (TIF) districts a collective $6 million which they allegedly owe to the state’s Education Fund, according to a series of audits
KeyBank has earned its eighth “Outstanding” rating from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), for exceeding the terms of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam. Key is the only U.S. national bank among the 25 largest to be rated Outstanding by the OCC for eight consecutive review periods, since the Act’s passage in 1977.
U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch this week told St. Johnsbury Fire Department Chief Troy Ruggles that his four-year quest to replace the department’s 36-year-old ladder truck is complete.
From its lifts and lodges to its snowmaking and “magic carpet," a new solar installation has helped the central Massachusetts family run ski area, Berkshire East, become the world’s first ski area to be powered entirely from on-site renewables.
A new checklist is now available to help towns rate whether or not they are economically, environmentally and socially resilient.
The Vermont Natural Resources Council today released The Resilient Communities Scorecard, which builds on the Smart Growth Scorecard published by the Vermont Forum on Sprawl in 2001. The update makes it the first scorecard developed in Vermont that looks at resilience.
by Alicia Freese April 22, 2013 vtdigger.org A recent report showcases the fact that the average amount of money that Vermont households reap from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) isn’t leaps and bounds above what residents in other states receive. In fact, Vermont falls squarely in the middle of the pack — in 2011, it ranked 25th in terms of the total credit — federal and state combined — that households received.
by Nat Rudarakanchana April 22, 2013 vtdigger.org Vermonters First, the state’s best-known conservative Super PAC, criticized a handful of House legislators last week in direct mailings to their constituents, accusing these Democrats of embarking on a “massive taxing spree.”
Merchants Bancshares, Inc (NASDAQ: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net income of $3.61 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.57 for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to net income of $3.61 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.58 for the three months ended March 31, 2012. The return on average assets was 0.86% for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to 0.89% for the same period in 2012.
by Andrew Stein April 23, 2013 vtdigger.org The House Human Services Committee passed a bill out to the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that would give physicians immunity from disciplinary action for prescribing a lethal dose of medication to a terminally ill patient, if the doctor followed strict procedures and if the patient requested the medication.
Vermont wasted the least amount per capita among all states in the US in unnecessary medication-related costs, yet still experienced an average of $1,004.39 in unnecessary costs per resident. The United States wasted $418 billion in 2012 based on bad medication-related decisions, and the impact was most deeply felt in those states that could least afford it, according to new research from Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX).
Colchester, Vt. -- Vermont Public Radio has been honored with four regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including recognitions for Overall Excellence, from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).
“As a public broadcaster, we are accountable to the community we serve,” said Director of News Ross Sneyd. “We are honored to receive these awards because they go to the heart of VPR’s mission to provide an essential and trusted independent voice for news and information in our region.”
NBT Financial Group, Inc (Nasdaq:NBTF), parent company of The National Bank and Trust Company ("NB&T"), Wilmington, Ohio, announced net income for the first quarter of 2013 of $1.0 million, or $.30 per share. Net income for the first quarter of 2012 was $361,000, or $.11 per share. Net income is up primarily due to a $1.2 million decrease in the loan losses provision this quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2012.
Commissioner Susan L. Donegan today announced that the Department of Financial Regulation has launched a new secure and easy online method for consumers to make inquiries and file complaints to the department’s Insurance Division.