Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced today that tax rates would be too great at this time to move forward with a single-payer health insurance plan. A long-time supporter of moving to a universal, publicly-financed health care system in Vermont, the governor said he would not support such a plan at this time. He detailed his administration’s health care financing report, set to be delivered to the Legislature in January, at a press conference in the State House Wednesday afternoon.
EPA has released a short video that applauds the voluntary efforts of a professor and students at Bennington College to help their local community combat climate issues by analyzing energy use of municipal streetlights and working with the local power utility to dramatically increase efficiency, saving the town thousands of dollars and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
By a vote of 335 to 303, University of Vermont staff members chose not to be represented by the Vermont State Employees Association union. A simple majority of employees who participated in the December 16-17 election was required to determine the outcome.
The proposed bargaining unit approved by the Vermont Labor Relations Board consisted of approximately 760 employees in administrative/clerical, technical and specialist positions. The unit did not include temporary employees; work-study students; or employees in supervisory, confidential or management positions.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and Director of Aviation Gene Richards today announced the successful closing of a $15.7 million revenue bond refinancing for Burlington International Airport (BTV), saving the Airport nearly $1 million. A lower interest rate, increased savings, reduced debt load, and improved cash flow were made possible through the recent Moody’s Investors Service credit rating upgrade from “junk” bond status to investment grade – the first upgrade in more than four years.
ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz has announced that William L "Trey" Martin III will become the new Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Martin will replace Justin Johnson, who leaves the Agency in January to become Governor Shumlin’s Secretary of Administration. Martin is set to start on January 2, 2015. Martin, who currently serves as Senior Counsel for Government Affairs for the Agency’s Department of Environmental Conservation, has been with the ANR since 2012.
FairPoint Communications, Inc CEO Paul Sunu today sent the following letter to Governor Peter Shumlin in response to the governor's public letter dated December 12, 2014. Vermont's congressional delegation sent an open letter to Sunu yesterday. The governor and the delegation urged the two sides to get back to the bargaining table and pointedly stated that FairPoint must do more to find a solution to the strike that began October 22. The contracts with unions expired in August and FairPoint subsequently implemented a new benefit plan.
LETTER FROM PAUL SUNU
Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith today asked Vermonters, policy makers and stakeholders to submit education finance and education spending proposals for consideration in the coming legislative session as lawmakers work to create an education system that is sustainable and affordable for taxpayers.
Vermont’s congressional delegation on Tuesday sent a letter to FairPoint Communications urging the company to negotiate an end to its ongoing labor strike. It has been 136 days since FairPoint’s labor contract expired and 61 days since the beginning of the strike. More than 1,700 members of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are on strike against FairPoint in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Starting today, Comcast X1 customers in Vermontwill be able to access their TV lineup on any connected screen in their home. Additionally, they will be able to download programs they have recorded on their digital video recorder (DVR) to watch on IP-enabled devices or stream them using an Internet connection, anytime and anywhere. The in-home streaming feature provides access to virtually the entire channel line-up and Xfinity On Demand programming on mobile devices and computers. The content is presented to customers via the familiar X1 user experience.
Vermont Business Magazine The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) has released its 19th annual "Small Business Policy Index 2014: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Small Business and Entrepreneurship." Based largely on broad-based taxes, Vermont was 45th overall. South Dakota was first and California was last.
The state of Vermont now has more resources to help businesses expand their markets overseas, thanks to a new grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the promotion of Vermont Global Trade Partnership’s Becky Fu. The $163,000 State Trade and Export Promotion Grant (STEP) will be used to assist businesses in developing new overseas markets, host training workshops and seminars such as the highly successful ExporTech, learn about export opportunities, conduct trade missions, and bring businesses to important international trade shows.
VSECU, a credit union for everybody in Vermont, was recently recognized and received the prestigious 2014 Community Credit Union of the Year Award from the Credit Union National Association. VSECU, based in Montpelier, was one of four credit unions, among the 2,200 community credit unions serving members in the nation, honored during an awards presentation held in Las Vegas, Nevada.