Bad mortgages in Vermont remained at 9.2 percent in February, just as they were in January, but continue to be higher now than a year ago. While the increase is just over 4 percent, most states have seen a prodigious drop in both foreclosures and delinquencies. While Vermont also did not see the kind of mortgage crisis found in many other states since 2008, resolving issues locally has been stubbornly slow, and blamed to some extent on the fact that Vermont is a "judicial" state, making cases slower to conclude.
The Vermont Petroleum and Grocers Associations today posted a revised stack of petitions containing more than 20,000 signatures from Vermonters opposing the increase in the gasoline tax proposed by the Shumlin administration and revised by the House Transportation Committee. The petitions were collected in all areas of the state.
by Alicia Freese April 9, 2013 vtdigger.org In a state budget bill that allocates over a billion dollars, $2.5 million can sound like small change.
That’s the amount that the Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) wants to trim from the program budget for people with developmental disabilities.
But advocates for the disabled say the cutback will hit an already beleaguered program still reeling from $11 million in cuts over the last five years.
Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL) today announced that The Manor, Inc. nursing home in Morrisville is the first long term care facility in Vermont to be connected to the state’s health information network. Being connected to the network, managed by VITL, will enable the nursing home staff to receive lab test results and other patient data more quickly and possibly prevent costly hospital admissions.
Norwich University will once again host this year’s Vermont State Science and Mathematics Fair (VSSMF) to be held on Saturday, April 13, from 7:30 am to 4 pm beginning in Bartoletto Hall with an awards ceremony to follow in Dole Auditorium.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today introduced legislation to break up banks that have grown so big that the Justice Department fears the financial system would be put at risk if criminal charges were filed. Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) proposed a companion bill in the House.
Northern Power Systems (www.northernpower.com), a next-generation wind turbine technology company and leading manufacturer of permanent magnet direct-drive wind turbines, is increasing its commitment to the small wind turbine market in Italy. Since 2009, the Company has built up the largest small wind turbine installed base in the country, with turbines operating in the regions of Campania, Basilicata, Abruzzo and Marche collectively generating enough green energy to power over 6,000 homes per year.
by Andrew Stein April 8, 2013 vtdigger.org Should Vermont hospitals be subject to the state’s open meeting law? That’s the question legislators will consider Wednesday at a joint hearing of the House and Senate health committees.
by Andrew Stein April 8, 2013 vtdigger.org Last week, Governor Peter Shumlin created a 20-member business council to advise him on financing a publicly funded health care system.
“It is to ensure that single payer is implemented as the governor plans in a timely way in 2017, with all risks to the Vermont economy identified, considered and managed,” said Lawrence Miller, Shumlin’s secretary of Commerce and Community Development.
Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s laboratory has earned accreditation from the College of American Pathologists, the gold standard in laboratory accreditation. The internationally recognized accreditation program uses teams of practicing laboratory professionals and rigorous standards to assess the quality and reliability of hospital laboratories.
by Andrew Stein, VTDigger.org - A debate between Vermont health insurers and physicians over the need for prior medical authorizations is picking up steam in the Statehouse.
Insurers require this extra review before they’ll authorize coverage of certain treatments or medications.
Rutland is about to go green – and red, yellow, pink and blue. Already focused on making Rutland the Solar Capital of New England, Green Mountain Power and Mayor Chris Louras today announced plans for a community beautification project that will include planting millions of flowers citywide. Almost 40 local organizations are already involved.
Governor Peter Shumlin joined legislators, community leaders, consumers, advocates and staff members at the Brattleboro Retreat on Monday for a ribbon cutting reception to mark the opening of the Retreat’s new Adult Intensive Unit. The renovated 14-bed unit is one component of a statewide strategy for replacing acute psychiatric services that were provided by the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury before Tropical Storm Irene devastated that facility.
Champlain College President David F Finney announced today he will retire next year. Finney, who has served as president for eight years, will retire on June 30, 2014.
In announcing his plans to retire, Finney, 60, expressed his confidence in Champlain’s ability to remain a leader in higher education and continue building on its unique academic experience.
Governor Peter Shumlin Monday released the third Irene recovery report entitled “Sustaining our Progress,” which charts the accomplishments since the June 2012 Recovering Stronger Report, sets goals for the 2nd anniversary of the storm, and outlines the recovery the efforts that will continue into the recovery’s third year and beyond.
by Anne Galloway April 8, 2013 vtdigger.org The childcare unionization bill, formerly known as S.52, went down in flames in a Senate committee earlier this legislative session, but it looks like the legislation will live to see another day — this time as an amendment on the Senate floor.
by Alicia Freese April 5, 2013 vtdigger.org The Senate gave preliminary approval today to a bill that would allow Vermont’s undocumented workers to drive.
There are between 1,000 and 2,000 migrant workers who stand to benefit from the legislation, most of them coming from Guatamala or Mexico to work on state’s dairy farms.
If the House passes S.38, Vermont would join Washington, Utah, and New Mexico, becoming the fourth state that allows its undocumented residents to drive.
The Chittenden Solid Waste District charges a fee to accept appliances year-round at all Drop-Off Centers. Twice a year CSWD holds free round ups and welcome Chittenden County residents to bring them in at no charge. The next one is Saturday April 6.
Free Appliance Round Up
WHEN: Saturday, April 6, from 8 am to 3:30 pm (April 5 & 6 at the Williston Drop-Off Center only)
The US Department of Economic Development (EDA) has awarded the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) a $1.6 million grant to help deploy disaster resilient cellular and broadband services to towns impacted by Irene and other 2011 flooding. US Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, and Governor Peter Shumlin announced the grant Friday.
New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares, Inc (NASDAQ: NHTB), parent company of Lake Sunapee Bank, fsb, and Central Financial Corporation (PINKSHEETS: CEVT) jointly announced Wednesday that they have entered into a definitive agreement through which New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares will acquire Central Financial Corporation and its subsidiary, The Randolph National Bank.
Burlington International Airport (BTV) has selected a joint venture led by premier travel retailer Hudson Group as the winner in its recent competitive bid process for the airport's retail concessions program. The Hudson team has been operating newsstands at the airport since 2004.
by Anne Galloway April 5, 2013 vtdigger.org Preliminary consensus figures from the Shumlin administration and the Joint Fiscal Office show Vermont will see $15.1 million in “baseline” cuts to federal funds as a result of the federal sequester in fiscal year 2015.
The estimate for reductions in 2013 and 2014 is about $9.3 million, so far.
The cuts will affect state programs, nonprofits and municipalities.
The direct hit to the state budget is $5 million in 2013 and 2014, and $6.1 million in 2015.
New unemployment claims in Vermont increased slightly last week as claims fell dramatically from last year. For the week of March 30, 2013, there were 686 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is an increase of 8 from the previous week's total, and 603 fewer than they were a year ago.
by Alicia Freese April 4, 2013 vtdigger.org Members of the public gave input to lawmakers on a bill that would levy fees on non-union members for the services they receive from unions.
The Senate passed the so-called “fair-share” bill, S.14, by a 24-5 vote in early February. It’s now in the hands of the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.
The first two months of the year, though very early in the season, have shown considerable improvements in the Vermont construction industry across the board. McGraw-Hill Construction this week released its February contracts for future construction in the state of Vermont. An authority on the construction market, the firm produces Dodge Reports and Sweets Catalog Files.
The VSJF Flexible Capital Fund L3C (The Flex Fund) announces specialty food producers, Liz Lovely, Inc of Waitsfield, as the fifth investment in an expanding, mission based royalty financing portfolio committed to growing Vermont food system, forest product, and renewable energy companies by providing “equity-like” loans that are repaid through revenue sharing.
Fuse LLC, the nationally recognized marketing agency based in Burlington, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, based in Montpelier, are the “Best Places to Work in Vermont,” as announced at a presentation Thursday night. Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce revealed the rankings of the Best Places to Work in Vermont at a special awards ceremony at the ECHO Lake Aquarium on the Waterfront in Burlington.